Ed psychs demand central funding

17th June 2011 at 01:00

The Government must fund training for new educational psychologists to prevent courses becoming "unsustainable", the profession's leaders have warned.

Only financial support from the Department for Education will halt the continuing crisis which is threatening the supply of new entrants, they claim.

A review of the future of educational psychology services and the financing of training is currently taking place. It was ordered by children's minister Sarah Teather after problems emerged with funding of PhD courses, now the only route into the profession.

Local authorities were expected to fund PhD training, but a third withheld cash last year, leaving the Government to make up the shortfall.

In evidence to the review, due to report next month, representatives from professional associations have told the DfE that courses must return to being centrally funded.

The review is expected to say educational psychology services should be opened up to market forces so that practitioners are no longer tied to local authorities. This would mean that employers and individuals would be expected to contribute to training funding.

Michael Hymans, chair of the National Forum of Educational Psychology Training, told The TES the current situation was "not sustainable".

"There has to be central funding, which doesn't have to be from central Government, but it must be organised centrally," he said.

"The unanimous view of the profession and universities now is we need it back."

Kate Fallon, general secretary of the Association of Educational Psychologists, told The TES that councils should contribute to centrally organised funding.

"Local authorities employ educational psychologists; they should give something back," she said.

But Mohammed Bham, chair of the National Association of Principal Educational Psychologists, said the role of local authorities should be to give "high quality" training rather than to fund university courses.

A Department for Education spokesman said: "Funding for the training of educational psychologists is being looked at in the review - but until it is complete, we can't say any more."

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