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Evidence for the efficacy of systemic models of practice from a cross-sectional survey of schools' satisfaction with their educational psychologists

Boyle, James and Mackay, Tommy (2007) Evidence for the efficacy of systemic models of practice from a cross-sectional survey of schools' satisfaction with their educational psychologists. Educational Psychology in Practice, 23 (1). pp. 19-31. ISSN 0266-7363

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Abstract

A follow-up cross-sectional survey of the involvement of educational psychologists in pupil support in mainstream primary and secondary schools was conducted using questionnaires employed in a study carried out 10 years previously. The questionnaires were sent to the head teachers of 112 primaries and 24 secondaries in four education authorities. Ninety-one of the primaries (81%) and 21 of the secondaries (87%) responded. The findings reveal significantly higher levels of satisfaction with the current contributions of educational psychologists compared with the earlier surveys, with over 70% of head teachers valuing the input of their school's psychologist. While schools value, and the majority of psychologists offer, the traditional role of individual assessment, the findings also indicate changes in psychologists' practice and in schools' expectations, with significant and highly-valued increases in the number of educational psychologists involved at strategic level in primary and secondary schools and in research and development in primaries over the last 10 years. Implications for schools and for psychological services are considered.