Educational Psychology Services Extended

Vulnerable young people throughout Scotland who need help to move smoothly from school into adult life will benefit from expert advice under plans announced today.

Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop said that in building on their current nursery and school focus, educational psychological services would now cover the post school sector in all council areas.

Post School Psychological Services are currently only delivered in 20 authorities.

The move will ensure that all young people who need additional support, particularly at points of transition, are better served by effective partnership working with organisations such as colleges, Careers Scotland and training providers.

Ms Hyslop said:

“We must ensure that every young person gets the chance to fulfil their potential and grab life’s opportunities with both hands – whether that means going on to further study, training or the world of work. There is a path for everyone out there. Some young people need a little help to find their way.

“This service will make a difference to young people across the country. Psychological services will work with lifelong learning and training partners to provide a crucial bridge between school and what lies beyond. I am confident that this will provide young people with the support, confidence and advice they need to go on to a successful, positive future and to play a full part in a thriving Scotland.”

Encouraging young people to stay in education and training post-16 is a key commitment in ‘Skills for Scotland’. The roll-out of PSPS is a key action point in ‘More Choices, More Chances’, the Scottish Government’s strategy for reducing the proportion of young people not in education, employment and training.

Educational Psychological Services (EPS), delivered by local authorities, have a key role in improving interventions for young people by developing the skills of professionals from different disciplines and advising on strategies for better meeting the individual needs of young people.

PSPS Pathfinders, an extension of local authority EPS, were established in 2004 to develop best practice in transitions and to test the national and local service delivery model developed in consultation with key stakeholders. An independent evaluation of PSPS, commissioned in 2006, was overwhelmingly positive. The Scottish Government currently funds the provision of this service in 20 of Scotland’s local authorities.

Currently, educational psychological services are focused on youngsters up to the age of 16. Post School Psychological Services (PSPS) extends the current provision and aims to improve the move out of school for young people up to the age of 24.

PSPS provides consultation and assessment with young people who have additional support needs and, through multi-disciplinary working, supports and advises organisations such as colleges, the Enterprise Networks, training providers and Careers Scotland in their delivery of services to young people on the path towards work, further learning or training

The roll-out across Scotland will extend the service to the remaining 12 council areas: Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, Dumfries & Galloway, Scottish Borders, Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Argyll & Bute, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland. The Scotland-wide scheme will cost approximately £1.4 million next year and will be funded centrally from the Scottish Government until 2010.