Education system needs more educational psychologists


Schools will require more educational psychologists to meet rising demand in the years ahead, a new government report has warned.

The study, commissioned by the government and titled Research on the educational psychologist workforce, suggests that there are currently ‘insufficient’ levels of staff.

More than 90% of educational psychologists working with local authorities reported that demand for their services is greater than what they are able to deliver.

In order to counter the increased demand, the Department for Education has promised to invest more than £30 million into training more educational psychologists.

The funding will support the development of more than 600 trainees, by covering grants and aspects of tuition costs.

The report also states that training places need to be spread across existing providers in order to maximise the outcomes associated with the finances.

According to government figures, around 1,650 educational psychologists were employed by local authorities in 2015.

In most cases, these staff will play a pivotal role in recognising and supporting pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The report relied on workforce data and interviews with key figures from the education system and has suggested that a lack of qualified personnel is one of the main issues to address.

Alongside the costs of training, the study states that local authorities are “unable to bear the cost” of providing a greater number of placements.

In addition, it also warned that more than three quarters of newly qualified educational psychologists said their workload had increased – yet despite this, 87% said they were either ‘very’ or ‘quite’ satisfied with their current roles.