Educational psychology

Educational Psychologists specialise in children and their learning, well-being and wider development. We work directly or indirectly with children and young people. We also provide advice to parents and other adults who teach and support children.

The Educational Psychology team offers the following services:

  • Observations
  • Assessments, including statutory psychological assessments for children and young people in Herefordshire as part of the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) process
  • Support for children and young people without an EHCP that can be paid for by schools
  • School referrals where school staff/parents feel a child needs the involvement of an Educational Psychologist (Referrals are not accepted directly from parents and must be completed by a staff member.)
  • Training

Critical incidents guidance

The Educational Psychology team have produced a critical incidents guidelines document to assist head teachers and school staff to deal effectively with critical incidents in schools.

The guidelines have been written to take account of recent incidents and to provide schools with guidance and support information on how such incidents may be handled.

This ranges from initial planning, through to immediate handling and reporting of an incident, to the after effects and how these can be handled with sensitivity and care.

Our 2023-24 training offer for schools

We offer training to meet your needs for:

Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA)

Find out more about Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA) in the Herefordshire Educational Psychology Service guide for primary and secondary schools. If you are interested in twilight training on EBSA contact Kamran Khan at Twilight training on EBSA typically costs £50 per person.

Twilight training offer to schools 2023-2024 to be held via Microsoft Teams

Please contact a member of the School Effectiveness Team to book yourself on their training event listed below.

Each course is via Microsoft Teams, and costs £50 per person.

We also offer whole staff training at your school, to discuss further please contact:

Course information

Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA) - Kamran Khan and Amy Clarke
20 September 2023, 3.30pm - 5pm


In comparison to the misleading term 'school refusal' this course explains how EBSA emerges in some children, and is related to high levels of emotional and physical distress. The session covers how school non-attendance can be maintained by particular factors within the child, their school and home, and provides an overview of the strategies that schools and parents can use to help overcome these factors and return children to regular school attendance.

Anxiety in children - Amy Clarke
27 September 2023, 3.30pm - 5pm


This training session explores anxiety in general, its different forms, its potential causes and ways in which children and young people may present when experiencing anxiety. It offers practical strategies to support children and young people and also signposts to agencies and resources that may be beneficial to staff members who have concerns about a pupil.

Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) – Debbie Chamberlain
11 October 2023 and repeated on 17 January 2024, 3.30pm - 5pm


This course covers the characteristics of this demand avoidant profile of the autism spectrum, and how it is distinct from other forms of avoidant or 'oppositional' behaviour. The session explains why everyday demands can result in refusal, avoidance and feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed. The difficulties this profile presents in a school setting are considered along with an overview of helpful approaches and strategies.

Free event: 18 October 2023, 3.30pm - 4.30pm
ELSA: Emotional Literacy Support Assistants: An introduction to the role of ELSAs in educational settings for head teachers, senior leaders, and teaching staff


This course will provide a brief overview of the ELSA training programme for schools who are thinking of training an ELSA, or who have ELSAs, and wish to know more about the programme. The course will provide an overview of the topics covered during ELSA training, and information about the way ELSAs work, their remit, and the impact of the intervention on pupil outcomes.

Autism – Kamran Khan
25 October 2023, 3.30pm - 5pm


This course provides an overview of the key areas relating to autism for teachers including its features and common profiles of strengths and difficulties, diagnosis, masking and anxiety and how to support autistic learners in class.

Goals of misbehaviour: a framework for understanding behaviours that challenge
8 November 2023, 3.30pm - 5 pm


This course will provide a brief overview of the four goals of misbehaviour, it will invite you to think about the unspoken, (usually unaware) message in a child's behaviour, and provide some cooperative strategies to use when dealing with these behaviours. Recognizing the goal of a student's behaviour is often the first step in identifying how to help them make better progress.

Trauma and the social neuroscience of education
15 November 2023, 3.30pm - 5pm


Based on the work of Louis Cozolini and Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey amongst others, this workshop outlines how the social brain has evolved, and how our relationships in the classroom shape individual brain development. This includes a consideration of the conditions that optimise learning, how stress, insecurity and trauma impair this process, and how the brain networks responsible for reward, relationships and regulation develop and operate together, and ultimately how the lessons of neuroscience can be used to harness learning and connection in schools.

Attachment and behaviour – Kamran Khan
22 November 2023, 3.30pm - 5pm


This course covers what attachments are, their biological function and how they form through attunement (Dan Siegel). It explains how co-regulation leads to emotional and self-regulation and how emotional security shapes behaviour. Insecure attachments affect a person's view of relationships and exposes them to threat responses, and the pathways of these neurological connections are discussed. Finally, the types of approaches required for children with attachment insecurity are discussed (for example, the Key adult from Louise Bomber) and a trauma informed approach to behaviour (Kim Golding).

Trauma and sensory development: Supporting children's sensory needs
29 November 2023, 3.30pm - 5pm


We are aware of the impact of trauma on children's emotional development, but the impact on their sensory development is often less well understood. This session will provide an overview of the impact of early trauma on children's sensory development. We will cover practical activities to support the sensory development of children you work with in school.

ADHD and behaviour- Kamran Khan
10 January 2024, 3.30pm - 5pm


This course outlines the history and the theoretical causes of ADHD, and the controversy over its status as a neurological condition. It identifies the three core difficulties experienced by some children in the context of executive functioning and medication, and how these features can be reduced in a classroom setting. The key behavioural features are discussed and how staff can adapt their methods to support hyperactive and inattentive children.

The window of tolerance - Caryl Griffiths
17 January 2024, 3.30pm - 5pm


The window of tolerance is the space within which we are comfortable, and feel safe and secure. This is our optimum space for learning, socialising, and expanding our skills. Everyone has a range of intensities of emotional experience they can comfortably process and integrate, and for some, daily stressors include sensory stimuli, alongside curricular and social demands. In pupils with trauma, social communication needs, insecure attachment, or difficulties in emotional and behavioural regulation, their windows of tolerance are often smaller than we would hope for, especially in a busy school environment. What can we do about this? This training will explore how you can use this powerful model to de-escalate, remove stressors and promote co-regulation, so that pupils can return to their window of tolerance.  

Senior Mental Health Lead (SMHL) training

Herefordshire Educational Psychology Service has devised a 3 day training programme accredited by the DfE to allow you or one of your leadership team to become your nominated Senior Mental Health Lead (SMHL).

The programme is pitched at an intermediate level and combines information on a wide range of mental health difficulties experienced by our children and young people, as well as information on local needs, services and referral processes. More importantly, professionals from local mental health services join us to explain their roles and perspective. If you join this course you will become part of a network of local SMHLs who meet with us termly to discuss our work, share resources and support each other.

The course focuses on how you can develop the mental health and wellbeing across the whole school climate to the benefit of staff, parents and pupils. The role is suited to someone who will be able to inspire others to join them on this journey.

Course format and cost

The course typically begins with a full day at the council offices, followed by multiple half-day sessions delivered online and finishing with a final face to face half-day session.

The course costs £800. The course code is: 115; it is an intermediate level course. This is fully funded by the DfE through a grant of £1200 to pay for senior mental health leads "senior lead" training. We will not charge you until you have claimed the grant. Use the link below to check eligibility and apply.

Apply for Senior mental health lead training grant

Contact directly to enquire about future dates for Senior Mental Health Lead training.

Other training courses available

Please contact to enquire about the following training for staff:

  • Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) training for teaching assistants
  • The Teenage Brain: Understanding brain development in adolescence and why it matters in school
  • Kindness and Happiness workshops for children
  • Childhood Trauma and Building Resilience: How children are affected by trauma and what to do in school
  • Working Memory
  • PACE Approach
  • Executive Functioning Skills
  • Emotion Coaching

Herefordshire Educational Psychology Service

Members of Herefordshire Educational Psychology Service can be contacted by phone.

Telephone: 01432 261584