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Title: Educational psychologists' changing role and distinctive contribution within the context of commissioned services
Author: Winward, Victoria
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 0877
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2015
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Following financial cuts introduced by the government in 2010, fewer funding and decision-making powers are held within local authorities, restricting their role as the provider of public services (Buser, 2013). As a result, the majority of local authority educational psychology teams have adopted a partially or fully-traded model of service delivery, with the aim of generating income to meet some or all service costs (Woods, 2014a). Educational psychologists have expressed concern about whether service commissioners value their distinctive contribution enough to purchase services (Fallon, Woods & Rooney, 2010). This study sought to investigate the response to trading and what impact this has had on the role of the educational psychologist, from the perspectives of service commissioners and educational psychologists. A multiple-case study design was implemented, following a mixed methods approach. Two partially-traded local authority educational psychology services were recruited. Participants from the emerging service included five educational psychologists and three small scale service commissioners. Participants from the established service included three educational psychologists, three small scale service commissioners and two large scale service commissioners. Focus groups, interviews and service brochures provided qualitative data, which were incorporated with quantitative service delivery data. All qualitative data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Findings were presented as thematic maps. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics to describe trends in service use. Findings show that the impact of trading on the role and contribution of the educational psychologist has been largely positive. Trading appears to have had a regenerating effect by creating the opportunity for an extension in the type and range of work now being completed. The findings are discussed in relation to current and future educational psychologist role and give an up-to-date insight into why the role exists, who may be willing to pay for the role and how this evolving role fits within the broader political contexts of education, special educational needs and disability.
Supervisor: Woods, Kevin ; Bond, Caroline Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Ch.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: unique contribution ; school psychology ; educational psychologist ; distinctive role ; commissioned services