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Western Education & Library Board,
1 Hospital Road,
Omagh, Co Tyrone,
BT79 0AW

Telephone: 028 8241 1411
Fax: 028 8241 1400
Email: info@welbni.org
Textphone: 028 8241 1550

Educational Psychology

Statement of Purpose

"To provide an effective, efficient, equitable, high quality service to children and young people in the age range 0 - 19 in the context of learning, emotional and behavioural difficulties and where possible to prevent these difficulties arising"

Principal Educational Psychologist
Senior Educational Psychologist - Omagh
Mrs C Coburn T: 028 8241 1394

E: claire.coburn@eani.org.uk

Senior Educational Psychologist - Fermanagh
Mrs S Burns T: 028 6634 3900 E: sue.burns@eani.org.uk
Senior Educational Psychologist - Derry
Mrs J Finn T: 028 7186 4780 E: joan.finn@eani.org.uk
Senior Educational Psychologist ASAS - Derry
Mrs M Martin T: 028 7186 4780 E: marie.martin@eani.org.uk



Child Guidance Centre   
24 Dublin Road, ENNISKILLEN, Co Fermanagh, BT74 6HN   T: 028 6634 3900   
Educational Psychology Service   
Maydown House, 1 Maydown Road, Londonderry, BT47 6UF T: 028 7186 4780
Educational Psychology Service    
Western Region, 1 Hospital Road, OMAGH, Co Tyrone, BT79 0AW  T: 028 8241 1411  



Typically an educational psychologist working within Northern Ireland will have the following qualifications:

  • An Honours degree in Psychology or equivalent

  • A recognised teaching qualification

  • Either:
    (a)   not less than 2 years full time teaching experience; or
    (b)  5 years full time experience of working as an Educational Psychologist with a recognised Education Authority in Great Britain or elsewhere

  • A post-graduate professional training - currently MSc in Educational and Developmental Psychology


During their professional training an educational psychologist will study:

  • normal and abnormal child and adolescent development

  • the development of children's cognitive, social, physical, emotional, behavioural, play and communication skills

  • the psychological aspects of educating children with disabilities, special needs and specific syndromes

  • children's attitudes, self-concepts, motivation and personality styles

  • the psychology of learning and teaching

  • family influences on development and functioning

  • the rights of parents and children

  • legislation relating to Education, Special Education and Child Welfare

  • neglect, deprivation and abuse

  • school influences on child development and educational progress (e.g. classroom management, parent involvement, school organisation, teacher expectation, teaching methods)

  • specific issues such as inclusion of children with special needs in mainstream education, bilingualism, bullying, grief, loss and trauma, special schools and units, travellers' children

  • the role of other relevant professionals

Educational psychologists acquire skills in:

  • teaching

  • assessment and testing

  • problem solving

  • training others

  • counselling

  • intervention

  • research

  • information and communication technology

Educational psychologists enhance and develop their knowledge and skills through professional development which includes attending courses, keeping up to date with current research and developments and acquiring additional qualifications.


Referrals to the Educational Psychology Service may be made by those who have concerns about a child's social, emotional, educational and developmental progress in the age range from birth to nineteen years.

Pre-school referrals

Pre-school children are referred mainly by the Community Paediatrician and the local Health Service.  Children attending nursery school may be referred by their Principal.

Referrals from schools

Procedures are laid down in the Code of Practice for the Identification and Assessment of Children with Special Educational Needs (1998) for schools to follow when referring children for assessment.  The 1998 Code of Practice is currently under review.

In keeping with the Code of Practice (1998) it is expected that the special educational needs of the majority of children will normally be addressed through Stages 1 and 2. Children are required to be working at Stage 3, with close involvement of parents, before a school will consider referring a child to the Educational Psychology Service for individual assessment. The Service engages in an early intervention, preventative approach in collaboration with schools. Since implementation of a Time Allocation Model of service delivery, a consultation system is in place which enables schools to discuss with their EP, children who are at the earlier school-based stages of the Code of Practice.  This has the dual effect of reducing waiting times for those children who require individual assessment and of enabling psychologists to engage in other projects, research and in-service work in their schools.