Call for retired educational psychologists to support pupils

The Department for Education (DfE) has put out a call to retired educational psychologists (EPs) to help support pupils returning to school. The DfE say the ‘opportunity’ will last up to 13 weeks, and is open both to those who retired from the profession after January 2017 and currently practising EPs who may have additional capacity to offer support. EPs will need to contact their local authority to express an interest, by the closing date of 30 November 2020. However details of rates of pay for the roles are not currently available.

In 2019 a government report found that there were insufficient EPs to meet demand from schools, and called for an increase in training places. The DfE subsequently announced more than £30million of funding to train new EPs. The number of educational psychologists employed by local authorities decreased by 13 per cent between 2010 and 2015, from 1,900 to 1,650.

During lockdown there were warnings from psychologists that lockdown would be detrimental to pupils’ mental health, with a group of professionals from a range of disciplines writing to The Times in June to say that lockdown ‘exacerbates feelings of entrapment, loneliness, hopelessness and anger, risk factors that can lead to thoughts of self-harm’. The group also used the letter to urge a swift return to school for all pupils.

Full details of the DfE call for expressions of interest, including points of contact for each local authority, can be found at: https://tinyurl.com/y2o7k6e7  

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