S. Evans, Laura Grahamslaw, L. Henson
Dec 1, 2012
Educational Psychology in Practice
Following changes to educational psychology training, the research aimed to examine whether the new training is considered “fit for purpose”, using a mixed-methods design. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected via semi-structured online questionnaires completed by recently qualified educational psychologists (RQEPs) who completed training programmes in 2009 and 2010, and principal educational psychologists (PEPs). 64 RQEPs and 15 PEPs responded to the online questionnaires distributed through the Educational Psychology Network (EPNET) and the National Association of Principal Educational Psychologists (NAPEP) forums, as well as via all initial professional training providers in the UK (excluding Scotland). Frequency counts were calculated for quantitative data. Thematic analysis was employed to analyse the qualitative data. Findings suggest that RQEPs gain skills and competencies that are used and valued by services, specifically, professional and interpersonal competencies to face demanding roles. Gaps were identified in relation to providing RQEPs with therapeutic competencies that they and PEPs would value. Discrepancies between the training provided and the realistic educational psychologist (EP) role were highlighted, in addition to the impact these seem to have on RQEPs. Facilitators and barriers to implementation of training were identified. The restructured initial professional training appears to have provided RQEPs with relevant training that is used and valued by services. It seems that some level of “mismatch” in training and job requirements will remain until a consistent educational psychology identity can be formed, either through the profession itself or due to enforced Government changes to the role. Recommendations for RQEPs, Educational Psychology Services, including PEPs, and future programme providers are presented.