Clinical Psychology input is provided at Springhallow School one day a week. The service works with pupils who have mental health needs, emotional needs or behavioural difficulties, throughout the school.
The clinical psychologist will do an assessment of the pupil and come up with a formulation (understanding of the difficulties), which will help to decide on the intervention plan. This might involve individual therapy with the pupil themselves or it might involve working with staff to help them support the pupil. Although the work is primarily based in school, some support is also provided to parents to help them manage the child at home. Often more than one form of input is required when supporting a pupil and the service also does a lot of liaison work between home and school to help ensure a consistent approach, as well as joint working with other professionals such as Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy.
All pupils in the school are able to be referred if there is an appropriate need. Pupils are referred for issues such as difficulties managing emotions (such as anger, anxiety and low mood), difficulties with behaviour (primarily difficulties at school, but also at home), difficulties with relationships (friends or family), and for pupils for whom there are concerns about their mental health.
Referrals are made by staff at school. They are then discussed with the Head Teacher to decide if Clinical Psychology is the most appropriate form of support or whether other input would be more helpful. If the referral is accepted parents will be contacted by the clinical psychologist to let them know that a referral has been made and what the plan is. You should always be told if the clinical psychologist is working with your child. However, you may not always be told if the clinical psychologist is providing general support to a staff team that is not specifically related to a particular child. If the referral is not accepted, then referrers will be signposted elsewhere to get support.
As a parent if you would like your child to be referred to the clinical psychologist you can discuss this with staff who will decide whether this is appropriate. The role of the clinical psychologist is focussed mainly on school and therefore high level support is not provided at home. However, consultation can be provided to parents to try and address specific issues. Where necessary Clinical Psychology liaises with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service for children and young people with learning disabilities (CAMHS-LD) at Carmelita House and refers families to appropriate services if their needs are not best met by the Clinical Psychology Service at Springhallow School.
The service does not operate a waiting list. It works hard to try and accommodate the referrals that are made as soon as possible, or after a short wait. Referrals are prioritised according to the needs of the pupil and which referrals are most appropriate for the Clinical Psychology in Special Schools service. If an appropriate referral is made and the clinical psychologist does not have space to accept it, they will try to identify other places of support for the pupil. When a space becomes available, if the pupil still requires input then they will be considered alongside other referrals made at this time.
When required/requested the clinical psychologist also provides workshops for parents around psychological and behavioural issues. This might include sleep difficulties, developing independence or how to discuss autism with your child. If you have any requests for this please speak to the clinical psychologist or member of the Senior Leadership Team at school (Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher, and Assistant Head Teacher). When required/requested the clinical psychologist also links with therapeutic groups that might be provided to pupils. Support, advice and training are also provided to school staff at Springhallow School.