In response to the unprecedented Public Health Crisis (COVID-19), Northamptonshire Educational Psychology Service (EPS) would like to update you on their current arrangements for supporting schools.
As government restrictions have been removed, and so we move into a new phase of the pandemic, it remains important to continue to take care and to draw on community resilience as we support the most vulnerable children and young people attending Northamptonshire schools.
Visiting educational establishments and providing home visits
Updated government guidance no longer requires working from home. This enables members of the Educational Psychology Services to resume normal service delivery as from 1 September 2021. Our service delivery will take into account the learning and good practice developed during the Covid-19 lockdown period and thus we will continue to offer virtual meetings alongside face-to-face visiting to schools and other educational settings. Where school or setting visits are not possible, we will invite children and young people and their families to visit us at council buildings. Very occasionally we may offer home visits.
The Educational Psychology Services use a consultation model of service delivery and much of our work involves direct contact with adults only, especially school or setting staff and parents and carers. For each consultation meeting, we will decide with the SENCO, headteacher or manager whether our work is best conducted in-person or remotely, depending on the particular situation.
For some observations and direct work, working virtually may be more effective and if so, the decision on how to conduct the work will be based on discussion and agreement with school or setting staff, parents and carers and where appropriate, the child or young person. When a face-to-face visit is indicated, for example group intervention work, we ask that ventilation is maximised for all spaces. We will wear face-masks in enclosed spaces and, where required by the school or setting, we will wear a face-mask around the building and in classrooms. If a face-mask is not required, wearing one will be down to the personal choice of the individual member of our services. We will ensure that surfaces and any shared equipment are sanitised before and after use.
All members of the services are encouraged to take twice-weekly Covid-19 lateral flow tests and we will postpone our visit if we have any symptoms of respiratory infection. We ask school or setting staff to alert us at the earliest opportunity to any sickness or concerning symptoms presented by members of the community whom we are due to visit so that we can postpone our work in good time, until their good health is restored. This also applies to face-to-face visits with children and young people and their families whether in council buildings or in their homes.
We have put together some guidance which we hope is helpful at this time. Please feel free to share with your school or setting community and contact us with any queries, ideas or requests.