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Southampton Educational Psychology Service

Southampton Educational Psychology Service aims to promote the learning, development and emotional well-being of all children and young people aged 0-19. Educational Psychologists (EPs) support school staff and other professionals to meet the educational needs of all children and young people by working consultatively with school staff and other professionals, using a model of systematic psychological problem solving.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Dawn Slattery and Caroline Carpenter
Contact Position
Principal Educational Psychologists
023 8083 3272
Southampton Educational Psychology service website

Where to go

Educational Psychology
Southampton City Council Civic Centre
SO14 7LY
Children's Centre Areas

Local Offer

Local Offer Age Bands
Secondary (11-16 years)
Primary (4-10 years)
Early Years (0-4 years)
Transitions to Adulthood (16+)
SEN Provision Type

Service Provider Extended Local Offer Response

What does your service do?

Southampton Psychology Service employs a team of Educational Psychologists (EPs) to support the behaviour, learning, and emotional well-being of the children who we work with.

The Psychology service is part of Southampton City Council's Children's Services.  We work with parents, schools, early year’s settings and other professionals to support progress, good outcomes and the positive mental health of all children and young people in the city. In particular we provide a service to those who have difficulties in learning or in participating in their education.

EPs have a statutory role to provide specialist advice and support to professionals (such as school staff, Early Years professionals etc) on meeting the needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs.

We aim to bring about change in the areas where children are experiencing difficulties. Our work is not focussed on labelling or diagnosis.

Our job is to assess the needs of children and advise their parents, school or the Council about the best way to help them.

Where is it located and what areas does it cover?

We cover all areas within the Southampton City Council boundaries. Our offices are based in Southampton Civic Centre but much of our work is carried out in schools, early year’s settings or family homes.

Who does your service provide for?

Educational psychologists mainly work to support children and young people between 0-25 years of age who are experiencing difficulties or who may experience difficulties in accessing education.

An EP will usually become involved if the school or parent feel that a child is not making the progress they should be.  This may be academic progress or social progress. 

EPs tend to get involved in more complex cases, therefore we will only get involved after other strategies have been tried by the school and parents.

Our work is prioritised as shown below

• Statutory duties e.g. Tribunal-related work, completion of written advice as part of the statutory assessment process.  Annual Reviews where there is a specific reason for attending, review of needs/progress for children with Statements where there are concerns.

• Children and Young People who are not currently accessing full-time education (e.g. who have been permanently excluded, who are at risk of exclusion or who are persistently absent from school)

• Looked After Children

• Children with severe and complex needs

• Early identification and support within Early Years

We are aware of the evidence that needs often go unidentified in children from vulnerable groups (e.g. Children, Looked After) and for this reason we would take particular account of the needs of children from vulnerable groups in our work.

How can I start using the service?

There are 2 main routes or ways of accessing the psychology service;

1) All schools in the city have a link EP and the school can request our involvement.  This can only be done with the agreement of parents.

In order to access our service children need to be presenting with significant difficulties that the school, or education setting, feel they cannot meet from within their own resources and therefore feel that independent advice, such as psychological advice is needed to help them better understand the issues and to develop an intervention plan.

Some schools have opted to purchase additional EP time allowing EPs to become involved at an earlier stage.

As part of the statutory assessment process EPs are requested by the 0-25 Service to provide psychological advice.  This happens after a request for an Education, Health and Care assessment has been made and agreed.

2) Parents are welcome to contact us directly, either through telephone or email, to discuss their concerns.  We will then liaise with the school or education setting to determine if EP involvement is needed. 

If your child is being educated at home you can also contact us directly and through discussion with you, we will determine if our involvement is needed.

Our services cannot currently be paid for by parents.

How are decisions made about who can use your service?

The psychology service receives it’s funding directly from the city council budget.  As we have a statutory role in supporting the council to meets it statutory obligations in relation to the SEN Code of Practice, our work must adhere to the regulations laid out by the Children's and Families Act 2014. 

In order to do this we have maintained a 'Link role' with all Southampton Schools, which means that all schools have a named EP they can contact to discuss concerns. 

Parents can either contact an EP through their school or by directly contacting the psychology service.

Our service is needs led which means that our availability will depend on the level of statutory work we have to complete, which can vary over time. 

We also receive referrals from other services such as Children's Social Care, Early Years settings and CAMHs.

How do you communicate with service users and how are they involved in decision making/planning?

Working with parents

Prior to an Educational Psychologist becoming involved with a child, parents must sign a consent form.  This is usually our first contact with parents. 

As part of our statutory work parents will be contacted either by phone or letter and invited to meet with the EP to discuss their views. 

Parents know the most about their children so it is essential that we talk to you about your child.  We will always try to do this, by whatever means, such as face to face meetings, telephone calls, email, use of advocate services and many other ways.

If needed we will use translators/signing and parents are welcome to use a third party, such as a friend or advocate, to help them communicate with us.

Upon completion of our work, we will send you a copy of the any reports we write and would welcome any further discussions you wish to have or feedback you would like to provide.

Working with children and young people

When we work with children we will also use a variety of ways to gather their views depending on their age and communication style.  In the past we have used methods such as drawings, specific computer programmes, email, telephone calls and helping children communicate through using friends or trusted adults.

Is your service fully accessible?

The EP office is located in the Civic Centre, however most of our work is done in your child’s school, your home or virtually through video conferenced meetings.

If you have difficulties accessing the school, due to a disability, we will arrange to meet you at a location more suitable for you, which may be your home or could be a local library or other council offices.

If you have specific access requirements please feel free to contact us and we will support in any way we can.

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?

Educational Psychologists (EPs)

All EPs have undergone extensive training including a degree in psychology, and a post graduate higher degree in Educational Psychology and will have worked for a length of time with children in a relevant field prior to their professional qualification (e.g. Teaching, Social Work).

All EPs in Southampton Psychology Service are eligible for chartered status with the British Psychological Society and are registered with the Health and Professionals Council.

In order to practice as Psychologists EPs are required to regularly update and monitor their professional skills and knowledge through a planned programme of CPD.

All EPs who have qualified since 2009 will have a doctoral level qualification.  EPs are trained in psychological problem solving techniques. They work collaboratively through consultation with children and young people, aged 0-25, their parents, school staff and other professionals to identify the key factors impacting on the child and young person’s ability to access the curriculum and make progress in their learning, including their behaviour for learning and their emotional well-being.

EPs are trained and experienced in

• Psychology, including child development,

• Working within educational contexts,

• Working with individuals, groups, systems and organisations,

• Research and evaluation.

Trainee Educational Psychologists (TEPs)

A number of Trainee Educational Psychologists in the second or third year of their training, are on placement with Southampton Psychology Service each year.

How will I know my child will be safe using this service?

All Southampton Psychology Service staff undergo an advanced DBS check. EPs will often work with children on a 1:1 basis or with a small group of children.

All EPs must be registered with the Health and Professional Council (HCPC) and must adhere to a professional code of conduct in order to maintain their registration.  Further information can be found at the HCPC or the Division of Educational Psychology (DECP).

How do I give feedback, make comments or raise concerns?

We are committed to ensuring that the quality of our services is continually improving.  All teams adhere to the relevant professional good practice guidelines and professional, ethical and conduct codes. 

We regularly seek feedback from parents and schools after all involvement, either through a feedback card or through a review process.

If you are concerned about the service you are receiving we welcome any feedback.  Initial feedback can either be emailed to the team at or by calling 023 8083 3272.

Alternatively you can also go to the compliments, comments and complaints page on the Southampton City Council Website

Or writing to:

Customer Relations Team
Legal, HR & Democratic Services
Room 210, Municipal Block
Southampton City Council Civic Centre
Southampton SO14 7LY

Who can I contact for further information?

If your child attends an education setting (school, nursery or early years placement) we would always advise that your first point of contact would be your child's teacher, key worker or the setting's SENCO.  They can provide you with our contact details and discuss whether or not EP involvement is necessary.

If your child does not attend school or you are not happy with the education setting's response, you can contact us directly on 023 8083 3272 or by emailing

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