Christine Avis - educational psychology team profile

A member of the team describes their role and what it's like to work in educational psychology.

My role is to make sure that high quality educational psychology is delivered to help support the children and young people living in the Maidstone district. I work closely with my senior educational psychologist colleague who manages the team based in Tunbridge Wells. Together we have responsibility for the delivery of the educational psychology service in the west quadrant of Kent.

In the Maidstone office I work alongside 4 colleagues, our team support officer who works across the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells office and at times we have a trainee educational psychologist placed with us as well. I provide the team with regular professional supervision and the day-to-day practical support which is intended to help everyone do their job effectively and to enjoy what they do.

In addition to supporting the Maidstone team, I have a role to support the development of strategic thinking about the way the local authority delivers its service. The service is regularly invited to contribute towards county-level development groups.

Kent Educational Psychology Service is a partially traded service. This means that schools can choose to buy days of educational psychology service which may include time for training, consultation, group work or individual assessments. I, along with 3 other senior educational psychologists, have responsibility for leading on the traded work we deliver. On an annual basis we ask schools to complete a questionnaire to provide feedback on both traded and statutory work. This ensures we provide a service that meets the needs of schools and that is of a high quality.

Working for the service brings many benefits, including working alongside skilled  professionals, access to individual and peer group supervision and support, a continuous professional development programme which addresses issues relevant to the profession and access to ongoing peer-support for enhancing skills development (for example, Video Interaction Guidance and coaching). The service offers plenty of opportunities to develop and gain new, creative ways of working.

Christine Avis - Senior Educational Psychologist for Maidstone