Educational Psychology Team

Educational Psychology Service 

What do we do?

The Educational Psychology Service aims to support schools and settings meet young people’s needs and work towards positive outcomes. Educational Psychologists, often referred to as EPs or ‘Ed Psychs’ usually have two degrees including doctoral training which helps us understand how children and young people learn, interact, and behave. EPs are asked to become involved with young people who are experiencing some difficulties, to help provide a clearer understanding of their strengths and needs, and look at ways to help the young person to achieve positive outcomes. The team provides a consultation, assessment, and training service to schools and educational settings in Warrington, working with children and young people aged 0-25.  It also provides advice to the local authority for children and young people undergoing Education Health and Care assessments by completing an assessment and a report.

How do we become involved?

We offer a referral service to Warrington schools. The school SENCo decides how to use the school’s allocated time with our service per term based on their own prioritisation of need within the school. If you have concerns about your child or young person you may want to discuss these with the class teacher or key person and/or Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo). The SENCo may then speak with Warrington’s Educational Psychology Service if they would like further support and advice. Our Early Years work is triaged by the Early Years SEND Inclusion Panel and your child will have had involvement with, or be known to, the council’s Early Years SEN Team.  If you have concerns please speak with the SENCo or Nursery Manager of your child’s setting. If Educational Psychology involvement is appropriate, a member of staff will speak to you about how we might help your child or young person and you will be asked if you would like to go ahead with Educational Psychology Involvement. If the young person is over the age of 16 they will be asked to provide their own informed consent. The school or setting will then arrange our visit and liaise with you.

During our involvement

We meet with parents and carers as part of our assessment to find out your views on your child’s interests, strengths needs, and future aspirations. You know your child best and so your views are important in informing our understanding of their strengths and needs and the desired outcomes. We also do the same with a member of staff in school. This is called consultation.  Our involvement might also include: meeting with your child or young person to gather their views, working with them directly to assess their strengths and needs, observation, and talking to other services who may already be involved (E.g. speech and language, community paediatrics, CAMHs, Early Help etc.). EPs may support children and young people with learning and developing new skills (cognition and learning); talking, listening and interacting with others (communication and interaction); making friends, managing their emotions or behaviour, and feeling good about themselves (social, emotional, and mental health); and in how any sensory and/or physical needs that they may have can be supported in education. A school may request our involvement but, in line with our ethical guidelines set out by The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), our assessment and report is for the child/ young person.

What happens next?

Following consultation/assessment around, or with, individual children the EP will provide the school/setting, parents/carers and young people (over 16) with a written report recording the consultation/assessment. The report will make specific recommendations about how staff and parents/carers can help the child work towards positive outcomes. Educational Psychologists work through schools/settings to support children and young people and following the initial consultation/assessment session we do not typically work with them directly however, when appropriate, some time-limited direct therapeutic work with children and young people is possible. Sometimes training or further input is commissioned by the school/setting linked to the assessment or the resulting recommendations. Schools use an assess, plan, do review cycle with all children with additional needs and particularly following input from external services. This is to follow the graduated response as set out in the SEN Code of Practice (2014).

How are we related to the Education Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA) process?

We are one of the services that schools can ask for help as part of the graduated response to identifying, assess, and meet the special educational needs of the child or young person. Schools use our input, and the input of other services, to add to their understanding of a child’s strengths and needs and to provide further ideas on the intervention and strategies that could be put in place to meet these needs. Most children with additional learning needs are met at the level of SEN Support. Where it is thought that the child or young person’s needs are further to SEN Support, an EHCNA submission can be made following local processes. If a decision is made to complete an EHCNA then the Educational Psychology Service will be asked by the local authority to provide advice in a report.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Patrick McArdle
Contact Position
Principal Educational Psychologist
01925 442917
Parent organisation
Warrington Borough Council

Where to go

Inclusion Service
Warrington Borough Council, East Annex, Town Hall
Sankey Street

Other details


Referral required
Referral details


Local/National Service?

Local Offer


Warrington Borough Council’s Educational Psychology service to schools and settings in Warrington.

The Educational Psychology Team provides a consultation, assessment and training service to schools and educational settings in Warrington, working with children and young people aged 0-25.  It also provides statutory assessment advice to the local authority for children and young people undergoing Education Health and Care assessments.

Contact Name
Patrick McArdle
Contact Telephone
01925 442917
Contact Email
Local Offer Age Bands
11-16 - Secondary
Preparation for adulthood
0-5 - Early years
5-11 - Primary
SEN Provision Type