What Is an Educational Psychologist?

What Is an Educational Psychologist?

An Educational Psychologist (EP) is a professional psychologist who specialises in the learning and development of young people, typically up to the age of 25.

Educational Psychologists use their specialist knowledge and expertise to make psychological and educational assessments to ensure the young person reaches their full potential within the educational system.

What Are the Responsibilities of an Educational Psychologist?

As an Educational Psychologist, you will utilise psychological tests, theories, and procedures to bolster the well-being and learning of the individuals in your care. By recognising the strengths and weaknesses of each young person, you can tailor your approach to support and nurture their full potential.

Your responsibilities also involve designing, developing, and providing support for therapeutic and behaviour management programs that enable young people to reach their goals. Collaboration with multi-agency teams will be essential to advise on the most effective approaches and provisions to foster learning and development.

You will play a crucial role in assisting parents, teachers, and other stakeholders involved in the education of children and young individuals. This includes offering advice, persuasion, and support, and engaging in negotiations with education professionals to ensure the best possible outcomes for the young people in your care.

As part of your duties, you’ll actively conduct research in your specialised area of expertise to stay informed of the latest developments and trends. Collaborating with colleagues to provide a comprehensive service across the local authority will further enhance the support and resources available to young people.

An Educational Psychologists role also extends to composing interventions that align with local and national initiatives, applying knowledge, skills, and expertise to raise educational standards and promote psychological well-being and social, emotional, and behavioural development. Writing reports and making recommendations on positive action is a key aspect of an Educational Psychologist's work, ensuring that young people receive the best possible care and support.


While working as an Educational Psychologist, you will be required to: 

  • Use psychological tests, theories and procedures to support the wellbeing and learning of a young person. 
  • Recognise a young person's strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Design, develop and support therapeutic and behaviour management programmes to help young people reach their full potential. 
  • Consult with multi-agency teams to advise on the best approaches and provisions to support learning and development.
  • Support parents, teachers and others involved with the education of children and young people.
  • Design, develop and nurture projects involving young people.
  • Write reports and make recommendations on how positive action should be taken
  • Advise, persuade, support and negotiate with teachers, parents and other education professionals.
  • Attend case conferences involving multidisciplinary teams on how best to meet the social, emotional, behavioural and learning needs of young people in your care.
  • Prioritise effectiveness; the context and quality of the environment which can influence a young person's development is something which is becoming increasingly important. 
  • Actively research your specialist area of expertise. 
  • Collaborate with colleagues to provide a joined-up service across the local authority. 
  • Compose interventions which focus on applying knowledge, skills and expertise to support local and national initiatives.
  • Develop and apply effective interventions to raise educational standards, promote psychological wellbeing and social, emotional & behavioural development.

Frequently Asked Questions

To work and practise as an Educational Psychologist in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you must have undergone appropriate training and achieved qualifications that are recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). 

The HCPC is the statutory regulator for all practitioner psychologists within the UK and Educational Psychologists who work by offering a service to the public are required by law to be registered with them. 

The Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) is the trade union and professional association for Educational Psychologists in the United Kingdom and they manage the recruitment process for all courses. 

To be considered for a place on a doctorate training course, you must have a first degree (or equivalent qualification) in psychology which has been accredited, or is recognised, by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as giving eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the BPS (GBC). 

You must then qualify as an Educational Psychologist by completing a three-year postgraduate training programme which includes a doctorate qualification. Year one is largely university based with years two and three predominantly spent on placement with a local authority educational psychology service. 

Alongside academic qualifications, applicants to post-graduate training will be expected to show significant experience (at least one year full time) of working with children and young people in an education, health, social care or childcare setting.

The Educational Psychology Funded Training (EPFT) scheme provides government funding in partnership with employers. The scheme is a five-year commitment which includes a three-year doctorate degree course, followed by a period of employment within a Local Authority. 

Discover more about the EPFT Scheme

The average salary for Educational Psychologist jobs in the UK is between £40,000 and £70,000 per year. However, this can vary depending on factors relating to experience, location, and employer.

Typically, a starting salary for Educational Psychologist jobs in the NHS can range from around £31,000 to £41,000 per year, while Senior Educational Psychologists can earn up to £77,000 or more.

It's also worth noting that salaries can differ based on whether the Educational Psychologist works in the public or private sector, as well as the specific region of the UK in which they are employed. 

The majority of Educational Psychologist jobs are found in the public sector and are employed by Local Authorities to work within public schools, colleges, nurseries and special units. 

Other employers include NHS Trusts, independent schools, Universities, child psychiatric units, paediatric assessment units, social services departments, professional services, consultancies and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). 

What Skills Does an Educational Psychologist Need?

As an Educational Psychologist, honing exceptional communication and listening skills is vital for establishing strong connections with both clients and colleagues. Building rapport with children and young adults demands an open-minded and empathetic approach, fostering a safe and trusting environment for their growth. Being assertive in advocating for their well-being ensures their needs are met with utmost care and consideration.

Your keen observational skills and unwavering attention to detail empower you to conduct precise assessments and tailor personalised interventions to each individual's unique requirements. Adaptability, flexibility, and efficient case management are integral components of your success, allowing you to address the diverse and evolving needs of those you support.

Moreover, maintaining strict confidentiality and adeptly handling emotional issues are paramount to creating a supportive and compassionate atmosphere. Embracing data analysis and staying informed of the latest advancements enrich your practice, which allows you to provide exemplary support and care, thus positively impacting the lives of children and young adults under your guidance.


Key skills of an Educational Psychologist include: 

  • Great communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Great listening skills. 
  • The ability to make different types of psychological assessments and make an accurate diagnosis. 
  • The ability to build rapport and relate to children and young adults.
  • An open mind.
  • Assertiveness. 
  • Sensitivity and empathy. 
  • Observational skills and attention to detail. 
  • The ability to use your own initiative. 
  • Flexible and adaptable. 
  • Ability to manage multiple cases and a potentially busy workload. 
  • Dealing with sensitive or private information. 
  • Ability to deal with emotional issues. 
  • Data analysis. 

Educational Psychologist Jobs

If you're searching for your next career opportunity, why not take a look at all the latest Educational Psychologist jobs available now?

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At Spencer Clarke Group, we work wIth hundreds of schools and Local Authorities throughout the UK so why not get in contact with one of our specialists who can advise on current and upcoming opportunities?

We offer a range of permanent, temporary and interim contracts - including fully remote or hybrid working patterns. 


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