System weakness

30th January 2009 at 00:00

The initiative taken by Steve Munby, chief executive of the National College of School Leadership, to take personal responsibility for starting an intensive training scheme for children's services directors ("Baby P: can training prevent another?",The TES, January 23) is timely and most welcome.

Within this, Mr Munby might wish to consider with directors the deployment and training of educational psychologists, as this is likely to assist significantly with the detection and treatment of children who are likely to suffer significant harm.

Educational psychologists are deployed principally in the schools' system following a consultation model involving discussion with teachers to improve children's wellbeing. But children are not necessarily observed or interviewed by the educational psychologist. This is a serious weakness, which needs to be addressed, as it allows any initial alerts by schools about the welfare of children to fall by the wayside.

George Crowther, Consultant educational psychologist, Reigate, Surrey.

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