Information for schools, intervention

What is psychological assessment?
Effective educational assessment is formative. An educational psychologist contributes to developing this formative assessment through the authority’s staged assessment process. This contribution is based on the analysis of information from a variety of sources over a period of time. It necessarily involves parents, carers, teachers, other professionals, and children and young people. Assessment directly informs intervention.

What assessment techniques might be used?
An educational psychologist’s contribution to the assessment process may be direct (observation, consulting with young person) or indirect (analysis of information gathered during consultation with parents and staff). Assessment may look at issues of emotional wellbeing and mental health as well as other behavioural and learning difficulties such as ASD, dyslexia or ADHD. The approaches used will depend on the questions to be answered and on the context within which the difficulties arise.

What would be done with the information derived from an assessment?
Psychological assessment will be taken along with information from other relevant assessors in order to fully plan and implement any constructive intervention strategy. This is usually done in the setting of a school team. Any information gathered from assessment will be presented in a clear and accessible way usually at a collaborative meeting which will be minuted.

What about Intervention?
An intervention is a strategy designed to overcome barriers to learning and teaching. Interventions should be evaluated for impact. Interventions should be selected on evidence of impact and may include work with individuals or groups.

What about privacy and access?
Teachers and others may informally consult an educational psychologist. If the educational psychologist becomes directly involved with a child a confidential file is created. This is to keep details of review minutes, notes, letters, and reports.

Examples of educational psychologists’ involvement in assessment and intervention:

Assessment techniques provide information about:

  • Cognitive and thinking skills
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Numeracy and literacy
  • Learning styles
  • Social and learning context

Range of techniques used:

  • Classroom observation
  • Analysing pupils’ work
  • Gathering information from others
  • Curriculum based assessment
  • Dynamic assessment
  • Consultation

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