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Title: How can the role of the educational psychologist, as a multi-agency partner within the area of children with speech, language and communication needs, be understood?
Author: Price, Angela
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2017
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The Bercow Report (2008) set out recommendations in support of children’s speech, language and communication skills, including the need for agencies to work together. The literature suggests that sharing information and negotiating roles is vital in multiagency working, and this study examines the potential of using ‘partner voice’ to understand the educational psychologist (EP) role as a multi-agency partner. Participants were asked initially how EPs could work in schools to support children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), but, as this appeared restrictive, the study became wider. Three focus groups of key professional partners – three speech and language therapists, four special educational needs coordinators and three Children’s Centre staff – gave their views on how EPs could support children with SLCN, alongside the potential barriers. The views of seven EPs were gathered through a questionnaire distributed to all those working in the city, asking them to outline current ways of working to support children with SLCN and how they would like to work, again considering the barriers. The importance of involving ‘parents as partners’ was recognised through the participation of six parent/carers, who completed a questionnaire on their experiences of working with EPs during a group meeting for parents of children with SLCN. Minutes were taken and used as data. The results highlighted four roles for EPs in supporting children with SLCN: ‘assessor’, ‘trainer’, ‘supporter of other professionals’ and ‘supporter of children and families’. Partners were able to suggest how EPs could work from their perspective, including potential barriers. Some were innovative and useful to carry forward. Professional partners could all identify a unique role for EPs. For an EP seeking to widen the EP role for children with SLCN, the participants’ information has great value and supports the idea that ‘partner voice’ informs and enhances practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available