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(UK) Nottinghamshire: Poor grade for lack of ed psychologists

Sept 18, 2023, Notts TV: More educational psychologists for County Council following special needs rating

NW of London

More educational psychologists are being brought into Nottinghamshire County Council in a bid to improve its special needs services.

The authority and the local NHS were told to urgently address “widespread failings” in services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities – known as SEND, earlier this year.

An inspection found people were waiting too long for specialist educational health care assessments (EHCs) and specialist help such as speech and language therapy….

The council is planning to increase the number of educational psychologists by three new members of staff a year for the next three years, to reduce reliance on agency staff.

The council is currently spending around £400,000 [$491,000] a year on agency staff to fill the gaps in the service.

The authority says there is a national shortage of educational psychologists and the “demand pressures” it is experiencing are also felt by other local councils….

The cost of employing a qualified educational psychologist is around £58,000,[$71,000] depending on levels of experience.

“This will increase the establishment of the EPS service to better meet the level of demand and be more in line with comparator local authorities by the end of 2026”, council documents stated….

“The failure to carry out EHC Assessments in time has been identified as a serious weakness by the Area SEND Inspection.

Since 2019 there has been a significant increase in the number of EHC Assessments which the Council has commissioned.
“The scale of and reasons for this increase are complex and difficult to predict.”

The authority is also planning to increase the number of trainee educational psychologist placements.

It will also implement a recruitment plan to support assistant educational psychologists with training courses….


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