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About

Information regarding the EP role and ways of working, as well as our specialist interests, continuing professional development, education, and work experiences. 

The EP role

The EP Role

  • What: EPs apply psychological theory and research to education. 

  • Who: EPs work with children and young people, families, school staff, and other professionals, such as social workers, residential and foster carers, and family support workers. 

  • Where: EPs work across settings in the 0-25 age range (although most often 3-19), such as nurseries and pre-schools; primary, secondary and specialist schools; colleges and sixth forms; universities; hospital schools; and homes.

  • How: EPs work at individual and systems levels.

    • Through casework, EPs work collaboratively with a child's network of key adults. We use assessment and consultation to gain a holistic psychological understanding of strengths and needs in order to promote a shared narrative, and we facilitate a reflective problem-solving space in order to identify the support required to meet needs in education.

    • Systemically through consultation, supervision, and training, EPs help empower staff by building knowledge, skills, confidence and capacity in schools to promote organisational change. 

Specialist Interests

Specialist Interests

  • Trauma and attachment: Understanding the needs of those who have experienced adverse early life histories, including work within specialist SEMH settings, with children/young people who have been excluded (or are at risk of exclusion) from mainstream schools, and those with care experiences. 

  • Family support: Supporting siblings of children with additional needs, as well as offering family support more generally.

  • Supervision: Facilitating one-to-one and group staff supervision and consultation to promote reflective practice and collaborative problem-solving. 

  • Person-centred planning: Using person-centred planning (PCP) approaches with schools e.g. in casework and consultation. 

  • Positive psychology: The science of wellbeing to promote student, family and staff quality of life e.g. use of breath work, exercise, movement, mindfulness, gratitude, kindness, connection, relationships, self-care and self-compassion.

My Approach

Ways of Working

  • Consultation: Individually, we advocate creative PCP approaches (see 'services') that put young people at the heart of decision-making about their future. Systemically, we are keen to use PATHs at a whole school level , where we utilise solution-focused tools to empower teams to draw from existing strengths and skills to promote organisational change. 

  • Assessment: As well as being trained in standardised cognitive assessments, we are passionate about dynamic assessment. DA not only focuses on identifying cognitive strengths and needs, but what emotional factors may be influencing learning, and what strategies help children make progress. 

  • Intervention: We have experience of delivering positive psychology workshops to promote staff and student wellbeing, as well as a parent/carer support group. We are particularly passionate about the use of therapeutic somatosensory/body-based strategies to promote regulation. 

  • Training: We have helped design and deliver local authority training in areas such as trauma and attachment, and emotionally-based school avoidance (EBSA). For example, our EBSA offer included group supervision for Early Help teams; consultation for schools and professionals; casework for children and young people; and developing 'return to school' guidance.

CPD: Training & Learning

My own personal development and learning experiences include:

Consultation & supervision

  • ​Ongoing: One-to-one supervision - 2x per half-term. 

  • Ongoing: Peer supervision - 2x per half-term. 

  • 24: Signed up for 'supervision for staff working in schools and community contexts' - Tavistock 5 day course.

  • 23: The implementation framework - Dr Shinel Chidley (EP).

  • 23: Reading - supervision in the helping professions.

  • 21: Group supervision in education - Hollie Edwards at Charlie Waller.

  • 19: PCP workshop/working party - hosted by Hampshire EPS. 

  • 18: Supervision skills - University of Southampton. 

  • 18: Person-centred planning - Inclusive Solutions.

  • 15: Conciliation skills - UoS. 

  • 15: Consultation skills - UoS.

  • 15: Problem-solving models & frameworks e.g. Monsen, the IFF - UoS.

Training
Education

Education

Alex's educational experiences include:

  • 2008-11: First-class BSc (Hons) Psychology - University of Manchester.

  • 2011-12: Secondary Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE - teacher training) in Psychology - Manchester Metropolitan University. 

  • 2013: Certificate in Psychological Assessment and Applied Research Skills (British Psychological Society approved Assistant Psychologist course) - Oakfield Psychological Services.

  • 2014: Educational and Child Psychology Diplomas (level 2 and 4 certificates) - Online Academies. 

  • 2015-18: Doctorate in Educational Psychology - University of Southampton.

Work Experience

Work Experience

Alex has 12 years of experience working with children and young people in education, including 9 years within EP services:

  • Pre-2011 (part-time): Trampoline Coach, including for children with disabilities, 'disadvantaged youth', and youth offenders; Student Mentor (volunteer). 

  • 2011-12: Trainee Teacher (secondary) - teaching GCSE and A Level Psychology; and PSHE & Citizenship. 

  • 2012-13: Qualified Teacher (secondary) - teaching AS-level Psychology; Lead Teacher of GCSE Child Development; and PSHE & Citizenship.

  • 2013-14: SEN Teacher, Middle Leader and positive behaviour support (specialist school).

  • 2014-15: Assistant Psychologist (specialist school). 

  • 2015-18: Trainee Educational Psychologist (school and local authority placements).

  • 2018-22: Local Authority EP - West Sussex County Council.

  • 2018-present: Independent Visitor  (Volunteer) - WSCC. 

  • 2019-present: Independent EP - GPS. Including roles as an NME Trainer through Sussex Psychology; Link EP and ELSA supervisor through Psychology First; Research Supervisor through Southampton University; and Volunteer with Super Siblings.

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