Welcome from the Assistant Director
Welcome to Shropshire!
You are considering joining the Educational Psychology Service as our Principal Educational Psychologist at a very exciting time!
The People Directorate was formed under a single Executive Director, Tanya Miles, in October 2021 and includes Early Help, Children's Social Care and Safeguarding, Learning and Skills, Adults Social Care and Housing services. This integrated approach to putting the family at the centre of practice is already starting to bring benefits to the families of Shropshire and will continue to grow from strength to strength.
As a Council we have recently launched the Shropshire Plan that outlines the vision for Shropshire, and the strong role of the services provided by Learning and Skills. You will be aware of the Education White Paper 'Opportunity for All' and the SEND Review 'Right support, right place, right time' being published only a few months ago. We are already using these key landmark documents to inform the development and design of our services to maximise early intervention and prevention work. Despite the many successes evident across Shropshire, we know we have more to achieve.
Our vision is to break the generational cycles that have inhibited success and exacerbated inequalities for too many of our children, young people and their families across Shropshire. We know this is not a 'quick fix' but something that provides both challenges and opportunities to make a significantly positive impact to the lives of our current children and young people, and their future families too.
As we begin to turn our vision into reality, we are working to ensure that all children, young people and families have access to great local education provision that can identify and meet their needs well. Inspiring our children and young people to attend every day, see their full potential and extend their aspirations for higher education and their career. We are setting ourselves ambitious goals to work with our strategic partners, education providers, families and young people to shape this vision and bring it to life.
The Principal Educational Psychology role is key to supporting the delivery of our vision and shaping the early intervention and prevention work that will support our education providers from 0-25.
If you are excited by the challenge and opportunity to turn the vision into reality. Lead a highly experienced and enthusiastic team of educational psychologists to apply their psychological knowledge to improve the learning and lives of the children and young people in Shropshire, we want to hear from you!
David Shaw, Assistant Director of Education and Achievement
Welcome from Service Manager for SEND & Inclusion
Thank you for your interest in our Principal Educational Psychologist role.
This is a fantastic opportunity to join our newly formed People Directorate as a key member of our leadership team, and to shape our educational psychology services for the future.
As we have come through the Pandemic, we have worked hard to support young people and schools deal with the wide-ranging impact that Covid-19 has had. Whilst these effects continue to be felt, we have returned to a new normal, delivering SEN Support services purchased by schools, supporting the local authority in its strategic developments, for example with Emotionally Based School Avoidance, and delivering the statutory function providing psychological advice as part of the Education, Health and Care Plan processes.
We are now looking to recruit an ambitious, experienced educational psychologist to lead this service and our ongoing improvement.
If you join us, you’ll manage a team of committed educational psychologists who are leading a diverse range of projects in areas such as Emotional Literacy Support and Trauma-Informed Practice.
The team is performing well and are keen to do even more and to use their psychological skills and knowledge. Through delivering some key initiatives (such as optimizing our business model, ensuring that we’re supporting students with SEND whilst we are coming out of the pandemic, and that we’re responding to changes in legislation) you’ll ensure that we are well-placed to maximise the positive impact that we can have. The supportive nature of the local authority means that there are opportunities to increase the service’s involvement and the application of psychology in several areas, for example the Steppingstones project. This is one of the major areas of work for the directorate and is, broadly, focusing on those children on the edge of care and looking at ways in which they and their families can get the support they need. As you would expect, psychology is woven throughout this work and whilst the service was involved in much of the initial training, there are now opportunities for applied psychology to be embedded in its practice.
This is a fantastic opportunity for an experienced senior educational psychologist to lead the strategic development of our EPS and be an integral part of a new leadership team.
We are open to current Principal Educational Psychologists looking for an interesting lateral move into an ambitious and dynamic authority; and we’re also very open to candidates who want to take a step-up into their first role at this level.
The role is challenging, yet rewarding, and offers the opportunity to make a real contribution towards making Shropshire one of the best places in the UK to grow up and to impact positively on the lives of our children and young people with SEND.
If you would like to hear more, in the first instance please contact Helen Alwell at Penna, our retained consultants, on 07809 905 467 and both Helen and I would be delighted to talk you through the role, and the impact it could have on your career.
Karen Levell, Service Manager for SEND & Inclusion
A word from our Interim PEP – Steve Laycock
It’s easy to say that this is an exciting time to join and lead Shropshire EPS (a small but committed, enthusiastic group), but it doesn’t make it any less true. Senior management are keen for EPs to make the best use of psychology to improve the lives of children and young people in Shropshire.
As a team, we are continuing to deliver the ELSA programme to a large number of local schools and the service has been commissioned to lead, develop and deliver the LA response to EBSA. There are on-going conversations with colleagues in children’s social care to look at increasing the provision of EP time to support the Steppingstones project, which works with children on the edge of care. The service continues to deliver a strong traded service to schools, limited only by the capacity available – schools want more!
Whilst there are pressures in the statutory system, as experienced elsewhere, the recruitment and use of an increasing number of associate EPs, all of whom can offer direct delivery, allows the employed EPs to focus on the proactive, preventive work that builds the system and helps ensure support is available as early as possible. It also means a significant reduction of the statutory load on Shropshire EPs.
Whilst we continue to host Trainee EPs who request placement in the area, we are also looking at “growing our own” by supporting local trainees who are interested in working for Shropshire on qualification. Additionally in September, we will welcome two psychology graduates who are beginning the long road to becoming an EP.
There is a lot going on and there is appetite for more!
Please see our brochure or contact us for more info