Involving the EP

What is the difference between EPS and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)?

We are often asked about differences in role between our service and CAMHS.  EPS is part of the local authority and has an education focus.  Our role, generally, is to support the process of identifying, understanding, and meeting a child or young person’s additional support needs within an educational context.  We have 5 core functions; consultation, assessment, intervention, training and research and also support work at the local authority level.  Please view the ‘About Angus EPS’ page for further information about how our service operates.

CAMHS is part of the National Health Service and would be involved to either support a child or young person who is experiencing significant and prolonged difficulties with their mental health, or where there are concerns around the possibility of a neurodevelopmental difficulty such as ADHD or ASD. 

EPS and CAMHS can both be involved at the same time, provided we are working in discrete ways towards outcomes on the child’s plan.  For example, if a young person is under CAMHS for ADHD assessment, we might also be involved to support a school to meet the child’s educational needs.  Alternatively, if a young person is seeing CAMHS to receive support for anxiety, we would not also engage in similar individual work.  

Can EPS get involved when CAMHS are involved?

Yes, we can, although it would depend on CAMHS’ role. If CAMHS were engaged in intervention work with a young person, we would not also become involved in similar work.  If a pupil is undergoing a process of assessment with CAMHS, we could become involved to support with how the pupil’s needs are met in school because these are discrete and separate processes.  However, we would want to consider the best interests of the pupil and might not want to put the pupil through assessments in school if they are already experiencing assessment at CAMHS.  Input from EPS and CAMHS should be considered within the context of individual planning for that pupil.

CAMHS have stopped working with the young person, can EPS start working with them instead?

EPS is a different service to CAMHS and, as such, EPS would not start working with a young person purely because CAMHS have stopped.  EPS generally support the process of identifying, understanding, and meeting a child or young person’s additional support needs.  This is a broader, and more education specific role than CAMHS, who offer interventions and treatments to help with a young person’s diagnosed mental health problems.  EPS do work individually with young people to support mental health and wellbeing but any further strategies or interventions for a young person should be considered within the context of SHANARRI outcomes and the child’s plan.  It is also important to consider the number of adults working in a young person’s life. 

EPS input has been recommended by a GP (or other health professional), does that mean EPS will get involved?

Just as EPS could not direct an allied health professional to become involved, we would not automatically start a process of work because it has been recommended by a Health colleague.  However, a request for EPS input does indicate a level of concern.  We operate a consultation model of service delivery rather than a referral model.  This means that rather than accept referrals to assess children and young people we prioritise our workload with schools.  Our first step, therefore, would be to hold consultation with school staff to determine the issues and what role, if any, there would be for EPS.  We may also speak to the health colleague who made the request.

There’s a long waiting list for CAMHS, can EPS become involved while we’re waiting?

EPS and CAMHS have different functions.  A referral to CAMHS will either be to support a child or young person who is experiencing significant and prolonged difficulties with their mental health, or where there are concerns around the possibility of a developmental difficulty such as ADHD or ASD.  A child or young person may be on the CAMHS waiting list and their needs may be understood and met by school in which case there would be no purpose to EPS input.  A school may, alternatively, have questions about a child or young person’s needs in which case it would be appropriate to have consultation with the EP, in addition to waiting for CAMHS input.  EPS would not ‘fill in’ for CAMHS or undertake individual work because the child is on the waiting list.  Any EP input would be negotiated through consultation as usual.

Is EP involvement needed for a referral to CAMHS to be accepted?

It is not necessary for EPS to be involved for a referral to CAMHS to be accepted.  We are happy to support schools to write referrals, for information from our assessment to be included in a referral (with parental or pupil consent), or to be contacted by CAMHS to share any information we might hold.


EPS Assessment

What does EPS assessment involve?

 Educational psychology assessment is not a single approach, package or tool, but there are consistent features. 

  • It is best understood as a process of gathering information which will inform future intervention and planning.
  • We use a ‘least intrusive, most effective’ approach and view assessment as an ongoing collaborative process.
  • Consultation is used to gather information from the key people in a child or young person’s life. This allows us to jointly consider the information we are gathering, and, in many cases, this is sufficient to inform an action plan. 
  • Where we need to gather further information, we may use methods such as looking at the child’s work, classroom observations, asking staff to complete specific profiles or questionnaires, or working directly with the child.
  • Meeting with the child or young person is not essential as often the information we have from other sources is sufficient to understand the child or young person’s needs. In cases where the EP does meet directly with the child or young person, there will always be clear purpose and aim to the individual assessment.
  • Where the child is under 12, parents or carers need to sign our GDPR privacy notice to consent to us storing information. If they are over 12, we need the form signed by the pupil

Further information about educational psychology assessment can be found in the BPS Educational Psychology Assessment in Scotland position paper.

Do EPS do cognitive assessments?

EPS do not do individual cognitive assessments to establish IQ scores.  IQ scores tell us nothing about pupil needs or how a pupil learns.  Where there are questions about a pupil’s learning (e.g. in relation to memory or attention) we will seek to gather information from a range of sources to help us understand what interventions and supports might work best for a given pupil.

Do you write reports?

The purpose of our involvement and assessment is to inform intervention and improve inclusion and outcomes for pupils. For this reason, findings from assessment are usually fed-back to school staff through consultation, or at a child’s planning meeting where the information can be useful in informing action planning and next steps. It is worth noting that report writing can be very time consuming and will not in itself improve outcomes for a pupil.

As part of service delivery negotiations with a school, an EP may agree to provide some written feedback.  Time allocated to the school would be used for this reporting.

As part of our wide statutory role, EPs are sometimes required to provide advice to the Children’s Reporter on the needs of vulnerable children and young people. When asked to do this, a written report is prepared and submitted within an agreed timeframe.



Do you have a menu of training  you offer to schools?

We do not have a menu of training.  However, the content on this website includes topics on which we have delivered training in previous sessions, which will give you a sense of what we can offer.  EPS offer a wide range of bespoke training for schools.  Training usually contributes to a school’s improvement plan and is negotiated between link EP and school.  Negotiation includes discussion about needs analysis and training outcomes and a training plan would be put together to reflect these discussions.  Picking training from a menu would not adequately reflect school needs or training outcomes unique to school context.