Press release

£16 million to support training of educational psychologists

Government funding announced to encourage people to train as educational psychologists.

People training as educational psychologists will have their tuition fees paid by the Government, and will be offered bursaries to help them cover the costs of training, under new plans outlined today.

£16 million of Government funding will be available to support the training of new Educational Psychologists over the next three years. The decision follows a Government review of training and funding for Educational Psychologists which recommends that training needs to become more sustainable.

Educational Psychologists have a vital role in supporting children’s development and helping them to reach their full potential. They work in schools and local authorities to provide professional advice on children’s emotional and educational development. In particular, they work with children with special educational needs (SEN) to identify where children may need statements, and to provide ongoing support.

Children’s Minister Sarah Teather said:

It’s vital we understand how children develop - emotionally and psychologically - so we can make sure they have the opportunity to thrive and succeed at school. Educational Psychologists have a valuable role working with children and families in schools, and as part of early intervention projects.

We want the most vulnerable children, and those who would benefit from extra support, to be able to access the expertise and support of Educational Psychologists. Today’s announcement helps to secure the future training of Educational Psychologists and is part of the work we are doing on the SEN green paper.

The funding provided by Government will support trainees by paying their tuition fees and providing a one-year bursary. Local authorities will provide trainees with bursaries in their second and third years.

The Government review, Developing Sustainable Arrangements for the Initial Training of Educational Psychologists, suggests retaining the current three-year doctorate for Educational Psychologists, but recommends a centrally managed system to ensure quality and consistency in training. The Children’s Workforce Development Council will have responsibility for managing the training of Educational Psychologists at a national level.

The key points in the report are:

  • The creation of a national steering group to manage the relationship between training and placement providers.
  • The development of an accreditation scheme for placement providers that will improve consistency and quality of placements.
  • Training for Educational Psychologists should, from 2013, be a three-year full-time doctorate based on a three-year bursary model.

The review was tasked with identifying ways to make better use of the skills of Educational Psychologists and looked at how to ensure training was sustainable into the future.

 Notes to editors

  1. Funding to support trainee Educational Psychologists, £5.5m in 2012-13, £5.4m in 2013-14 and £5.3m in 2014-15, is available as part of the Spending Review settlement. This will meet the costs of a match-funding mechanism between central government and Educational Psychologist employers (including LAs, the private sector, community groups and social enterprises).

  2. The Government review, Developing Sustainable Arrangements for the Initial Training of Educational Psychologists, is available on our website.

  3. Central management of the training of Educational Psychologists will be managed until March 31st 2012 by the Children’s Workforce Development Council, and from April 2012 by the Teaching Agency. The role of the Teaching Agency.

Co-operation between training and placement providers will be managed through the creation of a national steering group, to include local authority employers, the profession, training and placement providers and the relevant accreditation and professional bodies. The Steering Group will be managed by the Teaching Agency.

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