Educational Psychology: Funding Nationally but Cutting Locally

childcareThe Scottish Government has agreed a new funding package with Local Authorities which will see more than £4million going towards training 90 educational psychologists.

This comes at the same time as Orkney Islands Council has announced plans to cut services to children and young people with additional needs including £10,000 being slashed from the Educational Psychology budget.

Announcing the funding , John Swinney, Deputy First Minister in the Scottish Government  said:

John Swinney 2

Deputy First Minister John Swinney (Photo Scot Gov)

“Improving the education and life chances of our young people is an ambition we all share. This new partnership funding package between the Scottish Government and COSLA, will help thousands of school pupils across Scotland.

“The work of educational psychologists significantly contributes to the equality, effectiveness and inclusiveness of our schools and they play a vital role in raising attainment.

“By working closely with the school community, and other relevant professionals, educational psychologists help build capacity to meet the learning and mental health needs of pupils and I am confident this significant investment will have long-lasting positive effects on many future generations of young people.”

Councillor Stephen McCabe, COSLA’s Spokesperson for Children and Young People, said:

“COSLA Leaders have been clear that Educational Psychologists play a vital role in supporting our children and young people alongside other professionals. 

“I am pleased that we have been able to secure the  introduction of financial support for trainee Educational Psychologists which will hopefully increase the number of trainees available.”

It seems completely bizarre that when  a  decision is made by the Scottish Government and COSLA (which Orkney Islands Council is a member of) to train more educational psychologists that the local council cuts the budget of that vital Department. 

The initiative will see 30 new educational psychologists qualifying each year for 3 years. Both the Scottish Government and COSLA agree that their work is vital in improving pupil attainment. They also have a crucial role in working with teachers, other staff and families in helping to support pupils appropriately.

Is anyone anywhere doing any joined up thinking?  giving with the one hand and taking away with the other. Children and young people with additional needs, their families and the staff who support them are being badly let down by politicians nationally and locally.

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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