DEP: 1.9 Organisation and Structure
Accountability of the Programme and of the Director
The Programme is administratively placed within the Psychology Department sat the University of Southampton; it is also subject to the approval as a practitioner training programme by the HCPC. In addition, it is reliant on the placement learning opportunities provided by local Educational Psychology Services who offer placements co-ordinated through the SEEL Consortium placement panel: (www.ucl.ac.uk/educational-psychology/decpsy/bursary_placements_2019.html).
Accountability to the Psychology Deparment is via the School Education Committee (SEC). Accountability to the local authorities is via the Programme’s Advisory Group. Finally, the Programme ensures that it meets national standards for Educational Psychology training through the appropriate external validation procedures involving our External Examiner Dr Beth Hannah, University of Dundee.
The Educational Psychology Programme Board
The Programme Board is responsible for policy matters, whilst the Programme Team is responsible for the day-to-day operational management of the Programme. The Board ensures representation of all stakeholders’ views and interests. It receives, via the programme director, views from the Programme Advisory Group (see below); trainee educational psychologists (typically one or two per intake year); University (Head of Psychology or other members of Psychology as appropriate). The Programme Board also holds an Examination Board which meets at the end of each year.
The Programme Board meets two times each year and is concerned with quality issues, including student evaluation and curriculum development. Minutes of the Programme Board are sent to the Psychology School Programme’s Committee.
The specific terms of reference of the programme board are:
- to review and advise on academic and curricular matters of the programme
- to consider student evaluation of the programme, and programme response
- to consider recruitment and selection matters, and student numbers
- to consider and advise on approval matters
- to receive commissions from and report to the Psychology School Programme’s Committee
- to advise the Psychology Department and programme team on individual student matters
Each year identifies one or two year representatives who take responsibility for trainees representing the cohort at Programme Board. The regular cohort team meetings give them the opportunity to ensure that they are able to represent their year group’s views. As key stakeholders, their role is to ensure that the views and interests of their respective year groups are represented. The expectation is that matters which could usefully have been first raised with the module lead, APT or Programme Director should have been shared prior to being raised at Programme Board.
Programme Exam Board
This meets at the end of each academic year in July and is the formal mechanism by which it is ensured that all trainees in Year 3 have successfully completed all the course requirements. It is also where any issues arising from external examiner comments can be addressed. It is also the responsibility of the exam board to address any special considerations.
The final award is awarded by the Awards Committee on the recommendation of the Programme Exam Board to candidates who have satisfactorily completed the course and have satisfied all the assessment requirements.
Programme Advisory Group
The role of the Programme Advisory Group (PAG) is to provide support and challenge to the programme and help ensure that the training programme continues to prepare trainees for placement and employment. It exists to represent the interests of placement providers involved in delivering the programme, to maintain good working relationships between those parties, and to provide a forum to exchange ideas, strengthen skills and share examples of good practice. It also exists to identify, and discuss any issues of common concern. These aims will be achieved in and between meetings through formal and informal contact.
Membership of the group is open to anyone offering a placement to a Southampton trainee. If the Principal Educational Psychologist is not able to attend, a senior member of staff can deputise.
Meetings are held yearly with agenda items sent to the Programme Director/Administrator.
The programme at the University of Southampton currently operates as a national resource, with potential applicants from the UK. As part of the SEEL (South East, East and London) Consortium, which has been contracted by the DfE. it is intended to meet the workforce requirements of Local Authorities in the three government offices in the South East, East and London regions. All placement learning takes place in Year 1 in Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton, and in Years 2/3 within the SEEL consortium.
Funding for trainees in Year 1 is determined nationally by the DfE. Trainees are expected to sign contracts with the DfE. In Years 2 and 3 trainees across the SEEL consortium are allocated placements by the Placement Panel. Criteria for the allocation of placement include: place of residence/distance from placement base/estimated travel time; TEP additional needs; family circumstances eg. dependent children. Taking up a placement will be contingent on the successful completion of year 1 of the course and good attendance.
Trainees can express preferences for particular placements by selecting and rank ordering indicating distance from placement/estimated travel time and other personal circumstances relating to the criteria. While every effort will be made by the panel to place TEPs in one of their preferred placements, this cannot be guaranteed. The panel reserves the right to make the final decision in the interests of all TEPs. The bursary in Year 1 is £15,950 and in Years 2 and 3 for September 2019 is £17,000 with some additional funding for travel to placement.
Monitoring of Programme Performance
In addition to the monitoring of teaching and learning at the level of the programme board, within the University, teaching programmes are formally reviewed regularly via a five yearly Programme Review, coordinated by Psychology and carried out by both programme staff and external representatives. The last review, undertaken as part of a bigger review of the Faculty’s taught professional doctorates took place on May 8th 2018. A number of commendations were received by the Faculty, those with particular relevance to Educational Psychology are listed below:
- The range of opportunities for choice of thesis/project and the support arrangements in place across the DEdPsych and DClinPsych programmes.
- The DClinPsych mentor scheme and the DEdPsych peer support/buddy scheme, both of which were received positively by students.
- The provision of whole-cohort days for the DEdPsych programme which are considered by students to be both educative and social.
- The feedback processes which offer a range of opportunities for students to engage and provide feedback and the responsiveness of the programme teams.
A number of recommendations were also made at Faculty level.
As an additional measure of programme performance, employment outcomes for trainees are also monitored. Since 2009 all the trainees graduating from the course have successfully secured employment.