A review into educational psychology services in the Western Isles has identified a number of areas which could be improved.

The review was conducted by HM Inspectors from Education Scotland worked in partnership with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and the Educational Psychology Service to carry out a validated self‑evaluation. 

A closer look was given to the following areas:

How well do we use data to secure good outcomes for children in Comhairle nan Eilean Siar?

How well do we adapt our practice to meet the needs of all stakeholders?

What does the Educational Psychology Service plan to do next?

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Educational Psychology Service (CNESEPS), with the support of the Education Scotland team, identified a number of strengths and areas for improvement both in relation to the core validated self-evaluation (VSE) themes and the overall quality of their self-evaluation.

While Education Scotland worked closely with CNESEPS after the VSE to help them to review their self-evaluation report the service recognises that further and more intensive work is still required.  

The service correctly identified the need to review its role and spread of activity in partnership with the senior leaders across the authority.

They also recognised the need to work more systemically with schools and the authority to apply their psychological knowledge to a wider range of issues.  

The VSE process provided an opportunity for the service to revisit and reflect on their strategic contribution across the authority and consider how they could withdraw more from delivering services and interventions which other partners might be better placed to deliver. 

The service responded well to the support they received from Education Scotland, engaging in high-quality professional dialogue.

They recognise that further joint working with Education Scotland is required to improve the quality of their service self-evaluation and its alignment with Education and Children’s Services.  

CNESEPS have agreed to work with Education Scotland to help develop their self-evaluation processes and actions from the VSE.

This will be provided by one of Education Scotland’s educational psychology associate assessors.

The education authority and CNESEPS recognise that there is a current significant capacity issue which requires close monitoring to ensure that the service meets its full statutory requirements on behalf of children, young people and families across the Western Isles.

Education Scotland, through its Area Lead Officer for the authority, and Lead Officer for educational psychology will maintain contact with the service to monitor service capacity in relation to their statutory functions.

Read the full report here