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Educational Psychology

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what progress is being made on the implementation of recommendations from the Children’s Workforce Development Council on the training of educational psychologists; (174592)

(2) what plans he has to ensure adequate numbers of educational psychologists over the next 10 years; and if he will take steps to ensure that their numbers do not fall below the current level;

(3) how many educational psychologists are employed by local authorities in England;

(4) what assessment he has made of the role of educational psychologists in the education system;

(5) whether agreement has been reached between his Department and the Local Government Association on funding for the training of educational psychologists.

My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools and Learners has signalled his support for the recommendations contained within the Children’s Workforce Development Council’s (CWDC) paper on educational psychologists (EPs), which identified a number of options for the future funding and administration arrangements in relation to the initial entry training of EPs.

We have asked the CWDC and the Local Government Association, as the representative body of the local authority employers, to take matters forward in terms of the funding and administration of trainee EP places/courses commencing in September 2008. Further information can be accessed via the CWDC website at:

The full-time equivalent number of EPs in post in local authorities in England, as at January 2007, was 2,352, with 73 full-time vacancies. EPs are employed by local authorities, and it is for those authorities to determine how many to employ in light of their assessment of local needs and available resources, and to plan for future needs. It is not the role of the Department to undertake any manpower planning or funding assessment for this group of local authority employees.

EPs play an important role in assessing special educational needs and in helping to formulate support arrangements for children with a wide range of needs, including those with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. The value of their contribution was confirmed in an independent study, conducted by the School of Education, University of Manchester, published by the Department on 31 August 2006. A copy of the report, “A Review of the Functions and Contribution of Educational Psychologists in England and Wales in light of Every Child Matters: Change for Children” (Research Report No. 792) was placed in the House of Commons Library, and can also be accessed via the Department’s research website: