Agenda item

ENFIELD EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY SERVICE

Suzy Francis to present a report about the service the team provides in schools.

Minutes:

Suzy Francis (Principal Educational Psychologist), together with Sarif Alrai,

presented a report on the Educational Psychology Service and Schools Emotional Wellbeing Service. 

The Enfield Educational Psychology Service (EPS) is a specialist psychological service for educational settings.  The team works closely with Enfield’s Specialist Multi-Disciplinary CAMHS as well as with other teams in Enfield.  The EPS is a joint service with the Schools Emotional Wellbeing Service (SEWS)

 

The following was highlighted:

  1. Enfield Council and other commissioners fund specific services from the EPS. This supports the Council in delivery of its statutory duties. There are currently 19.5 FTE employed EP’s. Seven main grade EP’s are funded by LBE.
  2. The statutory demands on the Educational Psychology Service (EPS) have increased significantly since the introduction of the SEND Reforms in 2015.
  3. One of the main statutory duties is in providing the educational psychology advice for the purpose of informing the Educational Health and Care Needs Assessment.  The number of psychological advices had risen from 314 for 2015/ 16 to 515 for 2018/19 and it is expected to rise further this year, with 220 from April to July 2019.
  4. The schools or educational setting can contact the EPS & SEWS for advice and support in relation to a tragic event or a trauma. Support may be in form of advice, information, resources or a visit. Under a ‘critical incident response’ the service would respond as soon as possible and usually within one day.
  5. Schools and colleges can purchase further time from the Enfield EPS through a Service Level Agreement for non-statutory involvement. The report gave an overview of the current commissions such as advisory service for Autism and Autism Pathway in CAMHS, delivery of evidenced based parenting programme in schools and behaviour Support Service. Work has also started with the youth offending service and the Schools and Early Years Improvement Service have commissioned the EPS to provide consultation and support for Nurture Group staff. Nurture Groups provide interventions in school for children who have emotional needs.  

 

The following issues were raised by Members:

  1. The service does not hold a waiting list.  Schools support the special educational needs through the ‘assess, do, plan, review’ process.  Schools request the involvement of the EPS to provide additional advice, guidance and assessment as appropriate and as agreed with parents and school.  Schools purchase the service and are charged a day rate.
  2. It was asked if there had been any additional cases of racism resulting from tensions following on from Brexit issues?  Suzy Francis was not aware of any issues that had been raised through the EPS.  Councillor Brett may discuss this further with Tony Theodoulou, The Executive Director, People. 

 

An overview of the number of children and young people who had received EPS involvement was given and the following was noted

·         A higher percentage of males to females who had received a service from EPS (approximately 75% to 25%).

·         Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) (primary need) numbers show a slight decline this year which may be due to us identifying youngsters earlier with underlying needs.

·         A higher percentage of under 5’s receiving EPS involvement. Members were pleased to see an increase in pre-school children receiving support.

·         A higher percentage of Key Stage 2 Children (Age 7 – 11) receiving support.  It was noted that some secondary schools do not receive as much of our service as primary schools and some secondary schools such as academies do not buy any EPS services.

 

 

Suzy Francis spoke of projects being undertaken including the following–

·         The Sandwell Whole School Wellbeing Chartermark, this is  a whole school and college approach – promoting children and young people’s emotional health and well-being. – The aim is to improve the Well-Being of the Whole School Community. Enfield EPS is licenced to use the Sandwell Chartermark. The first phase of roll out is midway through so the outcomes are not yet known.  However, it was noted that headteachers have reported that they are finding the process beneficial so far in supporting schools to focus on the mental health agenda.   However, sustainable funding for this project has not yet been secured.

·         Supporting Families Towards Safer Transitions.  This is a whole system intervention led by Anne Stoker and involves several strands delivered by different partners.    Four schools were selected to be involved in this targeted programme. The EPS was commissioned to deliver attachment and trauma training to staff in schools and the training has been well received so far.

·         SEMH School Hub pilot – This pilot involves five primary schools. The hub comprises one trainee Children’s Wellbeing Practitioner (CWP) who was supported/supervised by an Educational Psychologist and a Clinical Psychologist.  The pilot was a joint venture with Specialist CAMHS and a trainee CWP was also placed in the CAMHS Access Team.  The pilot provides schools with (1) low intensity therapeutic input for CWP (2) support to develop the Mental Health leads in school and (3) supporting schools to share and develop their provision for children with SEMH needs.  The SEMH School Hub pilot was an example of good practice which was included in Enfield’s successful bid for the Trailblazer Mental Health Support Teams.  Members congratulated the team and suggested that mention of this work could be included in the council magazine.

·         The EPS has been involved with the national agenda relating to Children and Young People’s Increased Access to Psychological Therapies (CYPIAPT):  a comprehensive training programme to build capacity and capability across systems in relation to social, emotional and mental health. Staff in CAMHS, EPS, Behaviour Support Service and Youth Offending Unit have successfully completed post graduate training in ‘leadership’ ‘supervisor’ and ‘several therapeutic practitioner modalities’.   CYPIAPT programme links with the trainee CWP programme (SEMH School Hub Pilot) and the trainee Education Mental Health Practitioner programme (Mental Health Support Teams).

Enfield was successful in being selected to be in the next wave of the Mental Health Support Teams in schools.  The aims are the same as the SEMH School Hub Pilot and will target a population of 16k children and/or 40 educational settings.   Lead agency is the CCG and CAMHS will be the main provider with the EPS being a key partner.  Planning the implementation of these new teams is now underway. 

 

Suzy Francis said there is a national shortage of Educational Psychologists– Not enough are trained and there is competition with private providers.  The government has recently increased the numbers of training places.  Enfield EPS is committed to supporting the training of EPs and currently has six Educational Psychologist trainees (funded through bursaries in their 2nd 3rd year of their doctoral course) and four placed on their 1st year.

 

Suzy pointed out that our EP’s carry out varied work and the need for more focus on preventative work so that there is less need for crisis interventions.  Dr Sarif Alrai gave an example of a school that used their EP to provide ‘drop-ins’ and workshops with 10 – to 15 parents meeting with the EP before the school summer break for discussions with the aim of helping to keep children in regular routines and interested in learning during the holiday period.   Suzy Francis talked about the importance of relationships where parents can develop trust over time and more likely to access help in the future.

 

The Supported Internship Programme was mentioned.  This is supporting young people with SEND enter into employment so that they can lead more independent lives.  The Council is now involved in this programme and the EPS now has employed a young person to work as an admin assistant.  Credit was given to West Lea School, who had set up a programme for young people on behalf of Enfield Council.

 

Suzy Francis and Sarif Alrai were thanked for their uplifting presentation.

 

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