Where do educational psychologists work?
Local education authorities employ the majority of educational psychologists. They work in schools, colleges, nurseries and special units, primarily with teachers and parents. They regularly liaise with other professionals in education, health and social services. A growing number work as independent or private consultants.
The work of an educational psychologist can either be directly with a child (assessing progress, giving counselling) or indirectly (through their work with parents, teachers and other professionals).
Direct work involves some form of assessment to uncover a child’s problem through consultation with professional colleagues, observation, interview or use of test materials. Interventions might plan learning programmes and collaborative work with a teacher. Recommendations are then made to determine the most appropriate educational provision for that child. Indirect work requires consultation and careful discussion, as the psychologist's contribution needs to be seen as relevant to people who know little about psychology.
In their role within a local authority, educational psychologists are often called upon to advise or join working groups concerned with organisation and policy planning. With their research background they are in an ideal and often unique position within the education authority to plan and carry out research activities.