Becoming an Assistant Psychologist with EdPsychs

Your background, experience and committment 

If you have a First Class Honours Degree or 2:1 Honours Degree in Psychology, or a BPS Accredited Master’s Degree in Psychology, experience working with children or in schools, are legally allowed to work in the UK and would like to pursue a long-term career in psychology you may be interested in becoming an Assistant Psychologist (AP) with EdPsychs. You must have excellent social skills, be ethical, reliable and fully conversant with BPS standards and be able to support a school full time in term time throughout the academic year.

What does an Assistant Psychologist do in schools?

APs work under the direct guidance and supervision of an educational psychologist (EP) and they help the EP support schools and clients on an ongoing basis. EdPsychs employ a team of APs to fulfil this role, and each AP works full-time in one school for at least one academic year, and most APs progress onto a second and third year with EdPsychs. The role of the AP is to:

  • Support the overall work of the EP
  • Work with the EP to support the Inclusion Manager, SENCo and wider school community
  • Meet parents and talk through the role of an EP, an AP and the referral process
  • Work directly alongside the EP and observe EP consultations, assessments and wider work and help the school and family better understand EP work and findings
  • Complete observations, screeners, assessments and trackers that have been recommended by the EP
  • Work directly with students to run EP recommended interventions
  • Train and support children, young people and students individually and in groups on a wide range of areas (please follow the link to the AP training programme here for more information)
  • Train teaching assistants to deliver evidence-based interventions using EdPsychs training packs in a number of areas including: phonics, reading, spelling, reading comprehension, maths, dyscalculia, working memory, anxiety, self-esteem, ASD and ADHD
  • Work with EPs and teachers, and help implement EP advice to support students in class
  • Provide school training using EdPsychs’ training packs and materials in areas including working memory, executive functioning, metacognition, behaviour management, study skills, developing effective relationships, P4C, spiritual listening, understanding core values and working with gifted and talented students
  • Provide parent training using established external programmes and resources
  • Help the school’s link EP implement the graduated response model of EP support in schools
  • Baseline, track and evaluate interventions
  • Gather evidence to support the ‘Plan, Do Review’ process where appropriate
  • Provide traded services training using EdPsychs’ packages and programmes to schools
  • Support other APs and Senior APs in other EdPsychs' schools with joint training and support

An AP will also work in other roles based on the specific needs and requirements of their assigned school.

The AP role helps schools better embed EP recommendations and advice, helps schools develop their own psychological understanding of students and ensures school resources are carefully and appropriately used to better support children, parents and the wider school community.

What does AP training with EdPsychs entail?

The company AP training package has been refined and developed over the last five years by experienced psychologists, SENCos and former doctoral course leaders to provide an in-depth and comprehensive package of support for both the AP and the school. It includes having opportunities to:

  • Be under the direct supervision and guidance of an experienced EP
  • Experience ongoing supervision, mentoring and support as part of the EdPsychs ‘nine layers of supervision’ model
  • Learn about HCPC practitioner psychologist guidelines and observe how EPs implement ethical, boundaried, client focused practice in schools
  • Learn about BPS professional criteria and actively implement these
  • See how different EPs work across all levels in a school
  • Be supported by and work alongside a school SENCo or Inclusion Manager to better understand the SEND needs of a school
  • Have a 10-day initial training and induction programme run by a range of experienced psychologists
  • Have a minimum of a further 10 days of AP training and support with EdPsychs throughout the academic year. These sessions are delivered by experienced EPs, Professors of psychology, CBT practitioners, mindfulness experts, media professionals and experienced business coaches
  • Have ongoing access to further training, case analysis and discussions around evidence-based practice with your link EP.
  • Have access to our voluntary Saturday sessions where experienced EPs run sessions on psychology, philosophy, sociology, psychological profiling, media training and coaching
  • Access EP training days when you progress to becoming a Senior AP
  • Learn how professional psychologists assess, formulate hypotheses and build professional programmes of support for students
  • Work collaboratively alongside other professionals (such as speech and language therapists, clinical psychologists, coaches, cognitive behaviour therapy practitioners and other professional therapists)
  • Run EP programmes and recommendations directly with young people and students
  • Work alongside experienced media professionals (former TV reporters, journalists, actors and broadcasters) to develop interpersonal, training, PR and presentation skills
  • Be part of a collaborative team of APs working together to develop their skills base
  • Learn about cognitive, developmental and social psychology at a practical and applied level
  • Learn about the research base for supporting teachers in a classroom
  • Learn how modern EPs work to support schools

You can see the full EdPsychs AP training package by clicking here.

How do you become an AP with EdPsychs?

Before you apply for an AP role with EdPsychs, the first thing you need to do is to accurately evaluate your own skill base.

Do you think you will make an excellent AP? Would you like to contribute to society? Are you a highly socially skilled and ethical person who can evaluate people well? And do people like you, trust your judgement and seek your advice?

The people who have the best chance of securing an AP role are:

  1. Ethical, likeable and trustworthy in their approach
  2. Able to interact professionally and respectively with the diversity of people in society
  3. Warm, open, agreeable and conscientious
  4. Reflective and evidence based in their thinking
  5. Able to conduct themselves in a professional manner: you will need to be warm, engaging, confident, highly articulate in English and highly motivated
  6. Highly socially skilled team players: psychology is a broad and ever changing discipline. As such, psychologists must work collaboratively together to talk, think, analyse, seek advice and collectively develop their skills. Our APs actively help each other and share good practice to be outstanding APs and, one day, hopefully, be professional psychologists
  7. Experienced working with children in schools
  8. Fluent in cognitive and developmental psychology.
  9. Able to talk about the evidence base around offering quality first teaching in a school (often citing cognitive psychology and the work of people like John Hattie and Geoff Petty)
  10. Able to show that they had a long-term commitment to becoming a professional psychologist

 

The AP interview and recruitment process

EdPsychs recruit APs on an ongoing basis starting in February each year through to July. The AP recruitment process has three stages:

  • The initial EdPsychs application form (see below)
  • A 60 minute interview in Harley Street with four core questions which are:
    • What does an Assistant Psychologist with EdPsychs actually do?
    • How have you applied and evaluated psychology in your previous work?
    • Talk us through your understanding of one of the following areas 1) what is the psychological construct of ‘flow’; 2) how would you develop the ‘hidden curriculum’ in schools 3) how can classroom design influence rates of learning or 4) what is the impact of philosophy for children on thinking and behaviour
    • How do you think people learn from a psychological perspective?

You will need to be fluent in cognitive, developmental and social psychology, advance evidence of up to date reading and have read through the EdPsychs website thoroughly.

You will be interviewed by a panel of EPs and APs and they will ask you additional follow up questions to help you further explain your thinking and experiences.

If you are successful in the first two stages (above), we will then introduce you to potential schools, and if you like each other, we will then offer you a contract of employment with EdPsychs Ltd.

The AP roles with EdPsychs are highly sought after. For the academic year 2019-20, we received over 700 applications from psychology graduates across two intakes (February 2019 and August 2019). We interviewed 92 applicants and took on 14 new APs.

We currently have a team of 24 Assistant Psychologists (11 APs, 12 Senior APs and one Principal AP) in the 2019-20 academic year, and we expect to have a similarly sized team in 2020-21.

Assistant Psychologists earn £15,015 a year (£20,020 pro rata) and Senior Assistant Psychologists (who have been an AP with EdPsychs for a year or more) earn £17,020 (£22,693 pro-rata) for 39 weeks in term time only. Principal APs earn £19,000 per year (£25,333 pro rata).

APs can also earn an additional £200 a day for commissioned outreach training.

You will also earn an induction bonus for completing your initial one-year contract and all normal employment and pension rights apply.

APs are allowed to have other forms of income as long as there is no conflict of interest with an EdPsychs’ AP role, and they are available to support schools in core hours (usually 8.30-4pm in term time, but APs can negotiate exact working hours with their host school).

If you are interested in applying for an AP role with EdPsychs you are welcome to apply online by clicking here

DOCTORAL APPLICATIONS AND BECOMING AN EP

Many potential APs ask about the doctoral application process in educational psychology. EdPsychs do not train you to be an EP. This is the role of the doctoral programmes, and you will develop your own practice and thinking about the type of EP you would like to be across many years of working alongside different EPs on the doctoral programme, in local authorities and in your wider work as a professional psychologist if you are accepted onto a course as a Trainee Educational Psychologist.

The AP role with EdPsychs then is about learning to support an EP and a SENCo in a school to better embed psychology within that school and to use evidence based psychological approaches to better support the whole school community.

Many of our APs would like to be an EP at some point though, and the AP role with EdPsychs Ltd allows you to gain experience working with many different EPs and associated professionals on a day to day basis, and it will ensure that you are effectively applying robust psychological approaches in your work.

To date (September 2019 intake) twenty four out of our previous thirty eight APs have progressed onto the doctoral courses in educational psychology, one has progressed onto the professional training programme in organisational psychology and the others have gone onto a range of roles including teaching, wellbeing practitioner, professional coaches and lecturers.

Some APs apply for the doctorate in their first year with EdPsychs, but most successful applicants were second or third year Senior APs as they have developed their skills over time and accessed the full Senior AP training packages (where they often train alongside EPs).

We have a strong preference for recruiting APs who see a career in psychology as a long term journey, where they will gradually develop their skills to make an outstanding contribution to the profession. As such you should really see an AP role with EdPsychs as a long term position.

Teamwork, co-operation and ongoing discussion and supervision are core parts of the work of a successful psychologist. We ensure that APs work collaboratively together for the greater benefit of all. APs help each other to improve their expertise and professional practice, attend BPS events, discuss cases, develop psychological hypotheses with EPs and immerse themselves in the world of professional applied psychology.

EdPsychs will not prepare you for the application process as this is not our role. However, most APs support each other in their doctoral applications, discuss psychology, talk through areas of interest and help each other learn about applying evidence-based psychology in schools. APs can also join our TEP days in January and February where they meet some of our previous APs who are now on the doctoral courses or who have qualified as an educational psychologist.

We are very proud of our AP team. APs seem to find working with EdPsychs, being part of the team, developing friendships, having ongoing training, mentoring and supervision and supporting educational psychologists in schools as a valuable, challenging and rewarding experience and we hope that you will too.

If you are interested in applying for an AP role with EdPsychs, you can do so by clicking here.

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