Services for Schools

A primary role for educational psychologists is to support individual children and young people displaying the greatest level of need. Support focuses across the four areas of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice. The aim is to understand the depth of a child’s strengths and needs, to provide solutions that remove barriers to their learning. All approaches and solutions are underpinned by expertise in child and adolescent development, and applied psychology.

To identify the right solutions to help, our involvement makes effective use of assessments, pupil voice, consultation and action planning, and report writing, whilst also aiding parental involvement.


Assessments help to triangulate information and clarify or identify areas of strength and need. They play a key role in focusing intervention, informing action plans and reviewing progress over time.

We use a variety of assessments within each area of SEND (physical and sensory; communication and interaction; cognition and learning; and social, emotional and mental health). They include direct and indirect assessments, that are either formal or informal. Frequently used are standardised assessments, criterion referenced assessments, dynamic assessment, play-based assessments, observations and questionnaires.

Pupil Voice

To support children and young people, it is essential to gain their perspectives, and have their voices heard and acted upon within the process of an educational psychologist’s involvement. Only through gaining a pupil’s voice can we truly understand their lived experiences. Only through acting upon their opinions, can children and young people feel included in finding solutions to best help and support them.

We use a variety of approaches to gain a child or young person’s opinions and to aid their participation. We apply techniques depending upon a child’s age and development, often utilising play-based creative techniques, therapeutic approaches, personal-construct approaches, self-report questionnaires or less formal conversations. Wherever possible, we consider person-centred planning approaches that enable children or young people to be part of solution-focused, problem-solving consultations.

Consultation and Action Planning

Consultation is a joint problem-solving approach with school staff, which draws upon experiences and expertise, whilst pulling together all triangulated information and assessment results, to gain a deeper understanding of a child or young person’s needs. This approach results in the formulation of an action plan, detailing practical creative solutions and interventions tailored to each individual child or young person.

Our consultation approach and action plans work within the ‘assess, plan, do, review’ process of the graduated response. Action plans are frequently reviewed to uncover a deeper understanding of a child or young person’s strengths and needs (their responses to intervention), and the next steps needed to effect further change.

Our consultation approach often includes parents and supports joined-up working, shared understandings of a child or young person’s needs and develops solutions between home and school.


Reports are provided for different purposes, and reflect the aims and outcome of our involvement.

Reports can vary from brief summaries detailing next-step recommendations, to consultation action plans detailing assessment results and agreed solutions, to more comprehensive reports detailing strengths and SEND needs, assessment results and provisions required to meet short, medium and long term outcomes.

Ideally, our model of practice is within the division of consultation action plan reports, which are updated as part of the ‘assess, plan, do, review’ process. However, we understand that at times a comprehensive report is requested for specific purposes. For example, to thoroughly understand a child or young person’s presenting needs; to seek multi-agency support; or as part of a request for an education, health and care needs assessment. Our consultation action plans are often submitted as evidence of the graduated response, or comprehensive reports are requested following two rounds of ‘assess, plan, do, review’, and when additional provisions are being sought. Equally, we can provide comprehensive reports in addition to the initial action plan process. Overall, we apply a flexible approach to report writing that ensures we provide a service in a style that best meets the needs of the children and young people we support (and their schools too!).

Our typical time frames for completing reports is within two or three weeks (once all information is gathered and solutions are agreed). Very often reports are written much sooner, sometimes within days! This is our preference, as we believe reports should be written when we have a current understanding of a child or young person (when all details are fresh in our minds), and to ensure the action plans can be implemented as soon as possible.

“Training for school staff is an essential part of the continual growth of a school, as it facilitates the application, within education, of ‘current’ evidence-based practice in child and adolescent development.”

Given the knowledge basis, experience and continual professional development behind an educational psychologist’s application and continual review of applied psychology, it is no wonder we play a key role in delivering training solutions for school staff! The positive impact of applying psychology can be seen at the whole school level, and we thoroughly enjoy it too!

At Waite Psychology, we recognise that a school’s training solutions vary, so we tailor a package around a school’s needs. This includes an initial consultation to explore the purpose, content (either bespoke or from pre-existing training) and desired outcomes. After training delivery, follow-up consultations are made to aid the application of theory into practice.

Below is a selection of examples from our most popular training programmes. If you cannot see what you are looking for, contact us and we will help you to work it out.

Our network of connections to other psychologists and specialists also means that if we cannot provide a training solution directly, we will know someone who can!

Training programmes to aid whole school practice:

Becoming an 'Attachment Aware and Trauma Responsive' school.
Developing an emotional regulation policy: theory and practice.
Embedding a 'children’s rights agenda' within school policy and practice.
The importance of play for everyone: theory and practice.
Developing solution circles as a problem-solving approach for staff.

Training programmes to aid physical and sensory development:

Motor skills development and intervention.
How to set up and run a sensory room.
The importance of sleep.

Training programmes to aid cognition and learning:

How to develop executive functioning skills.
Working memory skills and intervention.
Dyslexia and dyscalculia (theory, identification and intervention).
Precision teaching.
Increasing achievement through a growth mindset approach.

Training programmes to aid communication and interaction:

Understanding and supporting pupils with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC).
How to write and use social stories.
How to support language and communication needs within the classroom.
Supporting vocabulary development in the early years and beyond.

Training programmes to aid social, emotional and mental health:

How to become a 'sanction free and reward free' classroom.
'Feeding curiosity' to decrease toddler tantrums: why “no” does not work!
Developing emotional problem-solving skills: a relational based approach.
Emotion coaching: theory and practice.
The circle of friends’ approach.

“Did you know that Waite Psychology works with schools at a group and whole school level through their consultancy and project work? This is because applications of psychology go beyond supporting individual children or young people, and can result in a greater impact when applied to meet whole school targets and systemic change.”

At Waite Psychology our consultancy and project work are offered as a bespoke service created through collaboration, that develops a tailored package of solutions to a school’s group or organisational targets. This is inclusive of our engagement in research and development projects, consultancy-based advice for whole school development plans, policy development and dissemination of whole school or group interventions.

Ideas and examples include:

Developing and disseminating an emotional regulation and relationship policy underpinned by an 'Attachment Aware and Trauma Responsive' approach.
Consulting on the use of open assessments delivered by a Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator (SENDCo) to evidence intervention progress.
Setting up solution circles with clusters of staff to enhance their peer support problem-solving skills.
Disseminating and evaluating a school-wide executive functioning skills project.
Using socio-metrics to unpick the social dynamics of a class to inform a friendship-based intervention.
Setting up and evaluating the impact of playground buddies.
Evaluating the use of whole class mindfulness activities on attention and concentration skills of children in their afternoon lessons.
Screening the emotional, psychological and social wellbeing of secondary-aged pupils to inform whole school intervention.

If these ideas have evoked some of your own, then please contact us! We would love to discuss your ideas further and plan more exciting projects to support all children and young people in your school!

The 2020 COVID-19 lock-down impacted all educational psychology practices across the country. Guidance from the British Psychological Society (Division of Educational and Child Psychology) advised against any face-to-face work. Psychologists were no longer able to visit children or young people still in school, at home, or to complete direct assessments. Overnight, our only way of working was no longer viable. This risked the ongoing support network provided by educational psychology services, for schools and families, being withdrawn and, crucially, at a point when their skills and advice would be needed most! Particularly, skills within critical incident support responses.

Very luckily, with access to remote working via indirect assessments, telephone and video consultations and observations, together with social networking, our own little rainbow was formed, creating new and continued ways of supporting schools to find solutions.

Examples of our remote support has included:

Ongoing completion of consultation-based action plans delivered at home or in school, informed by indirect assessments.
Ongoing completion of comprehensive reports informed by consultation approaches, indirect assessments and observations via video conferencing.
Ongoing completion of action plans to aid secondary school transitions and re-transition into school.
Early intervention support and consultation-based action plans for new school starters.
Therapeutic and emotional support for parents and staff via frequent touch-base telephone calls.
Therapeutic group work for staff to aid emotional awareness and wellbeing through explorations of Van De Kolk's pre-conditions of trauma.
Training via video conferencing for school staff.
Advice for parents home-schooling their children and young people with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP).
Contributions to virtual multi-agency meetings and next-step planning.
Consultancy based advice on returning to school and the 'Recovery Curriculum.'
Sharing updates, resources and guidance documents on Waite Psychology's Facebook page and Twitter account.

Predicting Ongoing 'New Ways' of Working

As it is suspected to be an ever evolving 'rocky road' with localised responses to COVID-19 and fears of a second outbreak, Waite Psychology will continue to utilise remote working approaches, in aspects or in entirety, if required.

We will continue to arrange all support collaboratively with our individual schools, and continue to take on new school enquires. We will work within our COVID-19 policy 'Returning to School', that details guidance informed by our own professional bodies on how we can complete school visits safely. We will follow our individual school's policies and procedures and respond to all emerging government guidance, advice or restrictions. Wherever possible, we will minimise the disruption to our schools by continuing effective remote working approaches alongside school visits, so that planned work can be completed if a school visit cannot be made.

In all cases, we will continue to “weather the storm” and support in the best way we can!