The Development of the Educational Psychologist's Role in Post-16 Education
Vukoja, Helena Daniela Maria
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
The introduction of Education Health and Care plans proposed in the Children and Families Act (2014) extended the statutory support for children from up to 19 years of age, to 25 years of age. This has in turn extended the role of educational psychologists to work with young people/adults to the age of 25, and some (Atkinson, Dunsmuir, Lang & Wright, 2015) have argued that this is one of the most significant developments of the profession. This research, therefore, seeks to understand how current educational psychologists see their role and how it may change when working with post-16 education; it also seeks to understand what needs post-16 education may have and how educational psychologists can support these needs. The methodology used in this thesis has the ontological stance of interpretivism (Cottrell, 2014) and epistemological stance of social constructionism (Andrews 2012). Interviews were held with educational psychologists (phase 1) and with post-16 providers (phase 2) to explore the views both these main stakeholders had of the extension of the educational psychologists' role. Needs from both stakeholders, as well previous literature, were taken into account in order to understand what the educational psychologists' role in post-16 education would entail. Interviews were developed using hierarchical focusing (Tomlinson, 1989) and were analysed using Braun & Clarke's (2006) thematic analysis. Findings suggested that the extension of the educational psychologists' role to work with post-16 learners is not the most significant development that the profession has seen in recent years, but that there are certain points that the profession needs to address. The findings are relevant to the local authority's development of their offer to post-16 educational providers. The findings also contribute to the role of the educational psychologist in general.
Doctor of Educational Psychology in Educational Child and Community Psychology