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Are there any Ed Psychs out there who'd like to talk to me about the job?

(8 Posts)
robino Mon 04-Jul-11 18:04:30

Am considering re-training as an Ed Psych. It would be a long haul. I have the working with children experience but none of the psychology experience so would need to do a PGDip (and even some form of psychology access course) before even starting the Ed Psych professional doctorate malarkey. It is not something I will be going into lightly if I do; is there anyone who would be willing to give me an insight?

neolara Mon 04-Jul-11 18:12:40

I used to be an EP a million years ago pre children. What do you want to know?

emsies Mon 04-Jul-11 18:18:27

I was curious about it too. I did the OU psychology degree (first degree was in philosophy and theology) in order to have the BPS recognition for retraining. I was initially a teacher and thought it would be an interesting career change. However I've now moved house and we're just over an hour from an institution that offers the training so I think it might have to wait until children are older sad

robino Mon 04-Jul-11 18:44:10

Thanks Neolara. What do I want to know? Ermmmm.....

Did you do the old training (it was a one year masters course when I looked into it about 12 years ago) or the new version? That might give me more questions!

And about the job? Did you find it genuinely interesting or did it all become a bit bureaucratic nightmare/red tape-y?

Did you work for a local authority?

You say you did it pre-children - don't answer if this is too personal, but did you stop because it was a difficult job to do when you had children of your own?

I'm sure I have many more questions but that's a start!

Emsies, I was a teacher too. Currently a SAHM. Don't want to return to teaching my specialism; trying to work out what I do want to do!

emsies Mon 04-Jul-11 20:26:54

Interesting you were a teacher too. I might end up going "back" to teaching psychology having taking another degree. At least I just get the 6th formers... !!

I so wish it was "just" the MA we had to do having been a teacher but it looks a bit more complex.

I'd love to know more about what the daily job is like. I don't fancy going back to my old job.

neolara Mon 04-Jul-11 23:11:36

I trained under the old system at UCL. The whole training has changed since I stopped working so unfortunately I can't tell you anything about what happens now.

I worked for an LEA and initially the job was very interesting. Lots to learn and lots of variety. However, having done it for a couple of years, the same kind of things kept coming up over and over again (I suspect this is true of most professions) and it stopped being so interesting. I also often felt what I did made absolutely little difference. Often I'd see a child, draw up a plan with teaching staff, agree what was going to happen, go back and review progress in a few months time and find that nothing we'd talked about had happened. I think often schools needed more support in implementing solutions than we had time to give them. A big secondary school might have only 6 visits a year from an EP and a visit was only 3 hours. It's not a lot of time to sort out ongoing and complicated issues.

Where I worked wasn't terribly bureaucratic at the time. We also had absolutely no control over which children were allocated additional support and quite frankly this was an absolute blessing. I think in some areas EPs do have input and I suspect this is probably a nightmare for them. Lots of very cross people shouting at them a lot of the time.

I stopped working because I didn't want to leave my dcs and I was in the lucky position to be able to stay at home. If I had wanted to go back to work, I think it would probably have been the kind of job that would have been OK to arrange around children. Again, this might depend on where you are employed. It's predominantly a female profession and where I worked lots of people worked part time.

Helzapoppin Fri 08-Jul-11 20:07:07

I'm one. But just started (second) maternity leave and have serious pregnant brain, so you'll have to bear with me I'm afraid....

I trained under the old system too, so can't really comment on the new training from personal experience, but know lots of people who have done the new training. It's hard work, but I think that they come out much better prepared and have lots of opportunities for development and research that I didn't have.

I find the job interesting and exciting. I work for an inner-London LA. I think that a lot depends on where you work. Some services are great, innovative, with lots going on (Kensington and Chelsea, Hampshire, Wigan), others are pretty set in their ways. I enjoy working in a small service in an interesting part of a big city. There is always something new going on to get involved in. I also do some independent work, mostly consultation with schools and early years settings.

The job is, I would say, easy to fit around having a family. I work half time, with half a day a week from home.

I don't find the job especially bureaucratic, except work around statutory assessments. I am lucky in that I work with just 5 schools and spend a lot of time in each of them and so I feel that I can 'make a difference' through consultation, assessment, training etc. I would say that you have to develop a pretty tough skin as sometimes everything feels like it is your fault and people can be pretty disappointed when they realise that you don't have a magic wand to solve all of their problems. That having been said, at least you get to leave the school and go back to your office and colleagues, whuch teachers and headteachers can't do in the same way.

Hope that helps a little. Good luck smile

hellzapoppin Fri 08-Jul-11 20:33:32

Woah. Another pregnant Hellzapoppin. Small World. I'm not an Ed Psych though. Now that would be too spooky!

Sorry, as you were. grin

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