Alternative routes to addressing the crisis

4th October 1996 at 01:00
In authorities such as Cumbria where large numbers of children are statemented - more than 4 per cent of school pupils - educational psychologists have found themselves absorbed by formal assessment.

That this is bureaucratic and expensive is undeniable.

Viewed increasingly as an inefficient use of resources many authorities are looking for alternative routes.

In an attempt to reduce the number of statements Cumbria is recycling resources into secondary schools for non-statutory assessment, basing need through screening using the Nelson cognitive abilities test developed by the National Foundation for Educational Research.

It is intended that schools then use their resources for psychologists' time to help draw up education plans for children without going down the statutory road. Educational psychologists in Cumbria now split their time in two; that at the disposal of the LEA for statutory assessment and review and that for non-statutory work in partnership with schools.

In Lincolnshire, educational psychologists have taken on the role of consultants. Dave Dickinson, Lincolnshire's principal EP, said: "We sit down with the school, they know how much time they have got, and we look at the most efficient and cost-effective way of dealing with a range of difficulties. We get an idea of the size of the special needs register, and this way we can pick up children in the earlier stages."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now