Frequently Asked Questions
Please find the answers to some frequently asked questions about our service below.
If you have other questions, please contact us by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01506 283130.
We can be contacted directly using the contact details found on this website or through the Head Teacher of your child's school.
We visit schools on a regular basis and they prioritise which children/young people they wish to discuss, to try to ensure advice is available as soon as possible after a concern is identified. Schools can speak to us about any child on any visit (with the permission of parents/carers) and they can phone or e-mail us too. Parental permission for our direct involvement is usually given via a referral meeting where our involvement is explained, a referral form is signed and the work planned. The work will then take place as soon as possible.
For children who are not yet in nursery or school (usually the 0-3 age group) referrals will be accepted from any involved professional. The referrer should put a request in writing to us and should obtain parental permission before making the referral. For children and young people in school, referrals usually come via the Head Teacher. Again, parental permission must be sought before discussing a child or young person with the psychologist and parents would be involved in the referral meeting and any planning about assessment or interventions for their child.
To ensure accountability and compliance with data protection laws, details of our involvement must be recorded for every child discussed with the Educational Psychology Service. Details of this can be found in our Service Delivery Guidelines.
We value seeing children and young people in different settings but have limited time to do home visits. For pre-school children we do try to see them both at home, where they are most relaxed, and in a more formal setting. We are less likely to do home visits when children are at school unless there are special reasons to do this, for example if the child or young person is ill or we are working with parents/carers to help them manage challenges.
Yes, parents can contact us via our office telephone (01506 283130) where you will be transferred to our extension number. If we are out of the office you can leave a message which will be returned as soon as possible. Alternatively, you could ask the Head Teacher of your child's school to speak to us on our next visit.
A child or young person is said to have additional support needs where, for whatever reason, they need additional support with their education. Additional support needs can be short or long term, and may come about for a number of reasons (e.g. a child or young person may have behaviour or learning difficulties, sensory impairment, be particularly gifted, experience bullying or bereavement). The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 places duties on local authorities, and other agencies, to provide additional support where required to enable any child or young person to benefit from education.
For most pupils with additional support needs, their educational needs can be met within a mainstream setting, so you would contact the school in your new catchment area directly to enrol your child.
If your child has been attending a specialist provision in your previous Authority, then contact West Lothian Educational Psychology Service once you have a confirmed moving date and a West Lothian address. With your permission, we will contact the Educational Psychology Service and other relevant agencies in your previous Authority for background information and may carry out our own assessment in order to make recommendations for the most appropriate school placement for your child within West Lothian. All information gathered about your child will be sent to the relevant planning group, which will make a decision about school placement for your child.
No. Most children and young people who have additional support needs have their needs met through the support systems available within schools. However, an Educational Psychologist is often involved in consultation with school staff, parents, and other involved professionals about pupils who have additional support needs. We may also do direct work to help to identify the pupil's additional support needs and to recommend educational strategies to help meet their needs.
Through involvement in training, research and project work, Educational Psychologists contribute to developments in schools which support the learning and progress of all pupils, including those with additional support needs.
If you live in West Lothian but your child attends a school in another authority you should contact the Head Teacher in your child's school in the first instance to discuss their needs.
Educational Psychologists continue to work during school holidays. We may be involved in home visits for some children and young people, and there is also ongoing work with those who don't attend West Lothian schools, for example children who are not yet at nursery or those who attend residential schools. Work with our partners outwith education goes on all year round, for example liaising with colleagues in Social Policy or the Health Service. The summer holidays are also a time to plan and prepare training, staff development and research projects for the following session.
An Educational Psychologist will have an undergraduate degree in psychology (or equivalent) and a postgraduate Masters in Educational Psychology.
A Clinical Psychologist will also have an undergraduate degree in psychology (or equivalent) and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.
A Psychiatrist is someone who is medically trained and has chosen to specialise in mental health.
We constantly work to make our service better so welcome comments and suggestions. You can do this by speaking to youror by contacting the Principal Educational Psychologist.