Educational Psychology

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Educational Psychology

WCF Educational Psychology Service (EPS) provides professional psychological services for children, young people and families in a wide range of educational and community settings.

Who are we? 

WCF’s Educational Psychology Service (EPS) is a multi-faceted and exciting team of Educational Psychologists who provide professional psychological services for children, young people, and families in a wide range of educational and community settings. As a professional service, we use our expertise to apply psychology and evidence-based practice to optimise the progress, learning, development, and well-being of all service users. The team aim to be responsive to the varied communities of Worcestershire in order to respond to the diverse local contexts of our schools.

The service has strong links with other services within Worcestershire Children First (WCF) including Virtual School, Complex Communication Needs Team, Learning Needs Team, Sensory Support Teams, Social Care Teams and SEND Team to ensure there is a comprehensive team supporting our children, families, and settings.

How can we support you? 

There are five core functions that underpin the work of WCF EPS:


Our service works through a consultation model of service delivery, which is a collaborative, preventative, problem solving approach. EPs use psychology to empower others to solve problems. Consultation can be used across a range of systems (individual, group, family, staff) and can also include supervision and coaching for specific staff groups e.g., DSL supervision. 


Our EPs adopt a range of assessment styles and tools to understand the needs of the child or young person and promote their inclusion in the educational setting as part of the graduated ‘assess, plan, do and review’ model. Assessment may be via observation, staff/ parent consultation and at times direct assessment with a child or young person. Assessment tools might include classroom observation, standardised assessment or dynamic assessment for example.


Our EPs offer a wide range of evidence-based tiered interventions (at the individual, small group, whole class,
systemic for example) designed to support children and young people with complex SEND. Intervention may also include problem solving frameworks and collaborative approaches with the adults in the wider system around a child to promote effective and long-lasting change and build capacity for those we support.


Our EPs offer a range of training support for the education settings we work with. Training is offered at an individual, group and systems level linking research and psychological theory with practice. We are fully engaged with a number of authority-wide training programmes (e.g: ELSA and Emotionally Based School Non-Attendance) and we also offer a small range of centrally held training courses for educational professionals to attend across the year. Schools can receive bespoke training as part of their SLA package (e.g: precision teaching, attachment awareness, emotion coaching, readiness for learning, supporting wellbeing, bereavement).

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Educational psychologists are applied psychologists and as a service we have a number of EP colleagues who are involved in designing and carrying out research, exploring new ideas and promoting effective educational practice. We also have close links to EP Doctoral training courses and each year have a significant number of trainee colleagues who work alongside us who are active in their research endeavours

Emotional Literacy Support Assistants

WCF EPS are excited to be able to continue to offer ELSA training and supervision for practitioners working in educational settings across Worcestershire.

ELSA stands for Emotional Literacy Support Assistant. ELSAs are school support staff (teaching assistants and/or learning mentors) who have undergone the 'ELSA' programme of training by Educational Psychologists to support the emotional development of children and young people in schools.

ELSA stands for Emotional Literacy Support Assistant.  ELSAs are school support staff (teaching assistants and/or learning mentors) who have undergone the 'ELSA' programme of training by Educational Psychologists to support the emotional development of children and young people in schools.

The ELSA programme has been widely adopted as an evidence-based early intervention for children and young people in over 100 local authorities in the UK.   ELSAs attend training days and group supervision sessions led by the Educational Psychology Service.  They will be trained to plan and deliver individualised programmes of support for children to develop their emotional literacy, including:

  • awareness of own and other people's emotions
  • management of stress, grief, anger and conflict
  • development of social interaction skills
  • promotion of a realistic self-concept and self-esteem

ELSAs will also be able to plan and deliver support to small groups of children to support the development of social and friendship skills. ELSA provision within schools can help lower exclusion rates, promote emotional well-being and improve academic outcomes.

The initial training is a mix of psychological theory and application of theory to support children and young people. The training involves discussion, activities and sharing of helpful resources. Resources to support work as an ELSA are shared. The initial training covers the following areas of emotional literacy:

  • day 1 – an Introduction to ELSA and emotional literacy
  • day 2 – security and affiliation (sense of belonging)
  • day 3 – self-esteem, motivation and developing feelings of competency and self-efficacy
  • day 4 – loss and bereavement
  • day 5 – managing emotions and social or friendship skills
  • day 6 – active listening, therapeutic stories and measuring outcomes

The school or settings will nominate their LSA(s) (identified as having the necessary prerequisite skills to train as an ELSA, see job specification) who will then be released for the training sessions and for on-going half-termly supervision sessions. A member of the teaching staff should be nominated to line-manage the ELSA(s) to support them with the referral process, setting targets and reviewing the intervention. The line-manager or headteacher will be required to join their ELSA(s) for the morning of Day 1. This requirement is important to help them understand the parameters of the ELSA role and the line-manager’s role in supporting ELSAs.

The school will also need to release each ELSA for at least the equivalent of one day per week to plan and deliver programmes of support to individual pupils nominated by the school. For very small schools (e.g., 100 pupils or fewer) half a day may be sufficient. The school will need to ensure that their ELSA(s) has access to an appropriate working area to deliver the programme.

Since most ELSAs are likely to have had no specific psychological training beyond those insights provided through initial ELSA training, it is essential for them to receive regular ongoing support that develops their knowledge and understanding in these areas. Without this they may be left floundering as they seek to support children with a complex range of needs. There is also a risk of them being asked to deal with issues beyond their level of competence which in reality require much more specialist professional input.

Therefore, to practice as an ELSA they must receive regular supervision which is provided by an Educational Psychologist. ELSAs are eligible to join supervision sessions from the term after they complete their training. Schools must let us know if their ELSA leaves his or her post to avoid paying the continuous yearly charge. No refunds will be made for supervision if ELSAs leave during the year.


Emotion Coaching and PACE

This virtual course will allow participants to consider how to use emotion coaching and PACE in their settings. It will allow time to share good practice with other participants, and practice the approaches shared.

An Introduction to the Zones of Regulation curriculum and framework

The aims of this training are 1) To understand what self-regulation is and why it is important. 2) To gain an understanding of the Zones of Regulation framework and curriculum and 3) To explore how the Zones of Regulation can be applied within the classroom and whole-school environment.

An Introduction to Positive Psychology

A two-part course that introduces principles from positive psychology, with two practical applications. Part A: Positive Psychology and Part B: Strengths Approach within Positive Psychology. Participants need to attend both sessions.


An introduction to ADHD and strategies that might be beneficial to children and young people with ADHD.

‘On Wednesdays we wear pink’ The psychology of friendship. Mean girls, BFF, frenemies, bromances and everything in between

Aims: To use psychological theory to support our understanding of friendship in young adolescents (aiming at Year Groups 5 to 8). To provide some strategies and suggestions for form tutors, pastoral staff, year heads and teaching assistants around supporting students experiencing challenges with friendship.

Using Solution-Focused approaches with children and young people

This workshop will enable those working with young people to consider how to shift thinking away from the deficit model towards solution-focused practice. Details on how to use solution-focused approaches with children and young people in a creative way will also be shared.

Emotionally Based School Non-Attendance

(Information coming soon)

Book you place

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Emotionally Based School Non-Attendance Guidance 

Inclusion in Educational Settings

Process to request involvement

When a school/setting has secured a package of hours with the service they will be able to discuss any requests for involvement with their link EP.

Following this discussion where EP involvement has been agreed the school/setting will need to gain signed parental consent on the Educational Psychology consent form and return the form to the link EP. 

To purchase a package of Educational Psychology support schools/settings can log in to the e-store

If you would like to speak to someone about how many hours your school/setting will need you can contact the team by emailing who can arrange for an educational psychologist to speak with you.