Council welcomes report on Educational Psychology Service

Aberdeenshire Council has welcomed an Education Scotland report, published today (Fri, Feb 24), which highlights the positive impact of the authority’s educational psychology service.

The feedback forms part of a formal assessment of a wide-ranging self-evaluation of performance by the service, carried out through a partnership involving the council, its educational psychology service, and Education Scotland. The process led to the successful validation of the service’s self-evaluation.

The Aberdeenshire Educational Psychology Service provides a range of services to children and families, schools and the local authority, with the aim of improving the learning and wellbeing of children and young people.

The council’s educational psychologists use their knowledge and skills to work with a wide range of partners to benefit all children and young people, with a particular focus on those who are not progressing as well as they could.

The validation process focused on the themes of ‘learning and teaching’ and ‘partnership working’, reflecting the Scottish Government’s national priorities, and involved speaking with learners, teachers, school leaders and officers.

The Education Scotland report noted that a good range of partners and stakeholders had been brought together to support the service’s self-evaluation.

Over the course of a week the evaluation involved focus groups, visits to schools, discussions with learners and individual interviews with senior council officers – with the council’s educational psychologists leading the activities.

The report notes the ‘strong commitment to self-evaluation for improvement across the service, led by the principal educational psychologist, and that the service had ‘formed a realistic and accurate view of their strengths and areas for improvement’.

As part of the process, the service has agreed with Education Scotland a number of steps to further improve their self-evaluation processes.

The report states that ‘the strong leadership of the principal educational psychologist and the distributive leadership evident across the service team has impacted positively on the quality of the service delivered to children, young people and their families.’

It goes on to highlight the clear links between service planning and the vision, aims and priorities of the council’s Education and Children’s Services. It adds the wider Education and Children’s Services department now needs to streamline planning to maximise the impact of the service’s contribution to strategic developments, particularly in relation to national priorities.

Chair of the Education and Children’s Services Committee, Cllr Alison Evison, said: “This is very encouraging feedback for what was a very detailed self-assessment process for the educational psychology service.

“The report shows the service is having a positive impact, and I’m sure the team will be very pleased to hear that.”

Committee vice-chair Cllr Charles Buchan said: “We give our thanks to the service, which performs such important work for the council.

“Education Scotland’s feedback will help guide the wider service on how further improvements can be made, and I know the team will act upon this.”

The full Education Scotland report can be found on the Education Scotland website.