Since being launched in July 2021, ReWAGE has been incredibly productive – our experts have produced 40 evidence papers and policy briefings and responded to 8 major consultations. The group’s outputs have been covered in the national, regional and specialist media, and its co-chairs and experts have presented at national conferences and forums, and to government ministers at a wide range of meetings, including all-party parliamentary groups.
Rising demand for educational psychology services impacts the workforce
IER and Ecorys research for DfE finds that recruitment and retention issues and rising numbers of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) contribute to a vicious cycle of unmet demand for educational psychology services.
Using a mixed methods approach, researchers from IER and Ecorys conducted research to understand the demand for educational psychology services and their impact. The research found that Educational Psychologists (EPs) deliver an important and valued service, providing unique functions as part of a complex system of support for children and young people. Capacity, primarily driven by the rise in EHCP numbers combined with recruitment and retention issues, has become an increasingly pressing issue and was consistently identified as the main barrier to delivering the most effective service.
A vicious cycle was identified in which the need for EPs to prioritise EHCPs reduced the time available for early intervention work and whole-school advisory work. Without this early intervention, the issues experienced by the child or young person can intensify leading them to need an EHCP and placing further pressure on EPs’ capacity to engage in early intervention and systemic work.
The research examined various potential solutions to these issues, concluding that purely supply-side interventions designed to increase the size of the Educational Psychology workforce were unlikely to address these issues alone and that they needed to be combined with demand focus interventions to ensure the sustainability of the system. This work built on previous workLink opens in a new window by IER for DfE in 2019.
World Youth Skills Day was first declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2014 and has been celebrated each year since. This July, the theme was “Skilling teachers, trainers and youth for a transformative future.” In anew blogLink opens in a new window for the IER blog series Dr Jamelia HarrisLink opens in a new window reflects on what her research in Sierra Leone reveals about skills investment and employment among young people in developing countries.
The first presentation, entitled "Public Procurement as a Policy Tool for Advancing Equality: Developments in Scotland and Wales" presented findings from the research project Buying social justice through procurementLink opens in a new window: An examination of the use of public procurement for advancing employment equality in UK construction, of which Dr Sarter is a Co-Investigator. Focusing on developments in Scotland and Wales, the presentation explored the meaning and definition of 'equality' in public procurement.
The second presentation with Dr Elizabeth Cookingham Bailey from the University of York examined current developments and emerging challenges for public services with a focus on their implication for resilience and vulnerability.