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Press and Media contacts:

Rose Tremlett
Interim head of press 
07545 354363

Tom Niblett
Press officer
07970 907730

Email: press.office@naht.org.uk 


NAHT NI comments on Educational Psychology Service Referrals

Dr Graham Gault, Director of school leaders’ union NAHT(NI), said: “We are extremely concerned that schools have been notified that the Educational Psychology Service is unable to provide the same level of support this year as in previous years. This has been attributed to an ‘unpredicted’ increase in referrals.

“Many school leaders do not accept that the uplift in referrals was not foreseen, particularly when concerns about the capacity of the system have been so widely articulated in recent years. Additionally, our members believe that it was entirely predictable that opening the portal to allow parents to make their own referrals, outside of the traditional in-school route, would increase referral rates significantly.

“NAHT suggests, therefore, that the warning that the Educational Psychology Service will not be able to meet demand is not the result of an increase in referrals, but, rather, the legacy of an historic failure to properly invest in this vital service for the scale of the demand.

“We wish to stress that this situation is not the fault of the psychologists, who we hold in high regard, recognising that they are currently managing unprecedented levels of workload. Nor is this the fault of our school principals, teachers, SENCos or any other group of frontline education worker. This is simply the direct result of a failure to invest.”

First published 30 March 2022