EDP: Placement Learning Overview

The following section gives a brief overview of the model of practice learning that takes place over the 3 years of the training programme.

Placement learning experiences should provide the opportunity for trainees to:-

  • Develop fluency in applying systematic psychological problem solving and consultation skills to casework.
  • Develop fluency in selecting and implementing appropriate information gathering and assessment tools.
  • Develop fluency in planning and implementing interventions.
  • Acquire experience of working with children and young people with a wide range of special educational needs.
  • Further develop the necessary interpersonal and communication skills
    required to respond to a wide range of situations and to work effectively with a wide range of people including children, young people, their parents and carers and other professionals.
  • Further develop understanding of the way that the legislation concerning special educational needs is put into practice by local authorities, and the roles and responsibilities undertaken by EPs to assist this.
  • Further develop their personal reflection skills to enhance the scope of their work.
  • To put into practice their research skills and undertake projects of increasing complexity.

In order to achieve this whilst on placement, local authorities need to provide trainees with:-

  • An induction to the Service.
  • Information and guidance on the local context and local working practices.
  • Opportunities for the trainee to shadow members of the EP team, and to undertake joint work, where possible.
  • At least half an hour of formal supervision per day spent on placement (to fulfil BPS requirements).
  • Observation of the trainee in order to provide them with formative feedback and written evidence to contribute to their portfolio.
  • Guidance and feedback on written communication.
  • Time for liaison with programme tutors, including the interim review meeting.
  • Administration support, as required.

Year 1

During the first year of training, trainee educational psychologists (trainees) are placed with a field tutor for one and a half days a week over the year undertaking activities in a primary and secondary school. The field tutor demonstrates casework skills, undertakes casework collaboratively with trainees, and facilitates trainees taking on casework independently. It is also possible that the trainees will undertake some school based project work, working at an organisational level.

Over the course of the year trainees undertake casework with increasing independence (as shown in the table below). All casework is closely supervised by the field tutor and follows a model of systematic psychological problem solving.

A small scale research project (SSRP) is undertaken collaboratively by a pair or small group of trainees, supervised by academic/research staff and supported by a local authority contact. This may take place in a different local authority.

Further detail is given in section 2, however, the format of practice activity in Year 1 is as follows:

1st and 2nd Semester

(October to April)

Casework experience and managed casework

  • Cases are modelled by the field tutor, observed by trainees and undertaken collaboratively between the field tutor and trainees.

3rd Semester

(May to July)

Monitored casework

  • At this stage one primary and one secondary case is completed by each trainee, monitored and supervised closely by the field tutor
  • The SSRP is started in group of up to 4 and submitted in the September at the end of Year 1

Year 2

During Year 2 each trainee benefits from placement in a local authority. While on placement trainees are able to undertake generic EP work on behalf of the local authority. Casework will focus initially on high incidence needs, with a gradual progression to other types of work eg. systemic work, possibly working jointly with other psychologists. Trainees can be expected to undertake work of increasing complexity and with increasing independence over the course of the year. Further detail is given in section 2.

Year 3

During Year 3 each trainee benefits from placement in a different local authority to the one in which they were on placement in Year 2. Trainees can be expected to undertake work independently from the start of the year and it is expected that during their placement trainees will take responsibility for actively negotiating with service users activities appropriate for an applied psychologist. Trainees should be expected to be able to respond to all the generic casework requirements of schools, including high and low incidence casework, with close supervision. In addition trainees can be expected to undertake other types of EP work including training, project and systemic work, with appropriate supervision and support.

Further detail is given in section 3.

Research Thesis

Data collection and analysis for the trainees’ research project will continue through Year 3, and time is routinely allowed for this on Friday each week with further personal study time available in Year 3, usually on Monday. The thesis is submitted at the beginning of June after the summer term half-term break. There is scope for trainees to negotiate a block of time away from their placement to aid the process of submission. This, however, must be in agreement with the PEP and supervisor, and is at their discretion.

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