IER is leading on a mixed-methods project for the Department for Education to gather evidence on the distribution and demographic characteristics of the current educational psychologist (EP) workforce - with a particular focus on the Local Authority (LA) EP workforce - in order to map existing and projected EP shortages. The research will be used as the basis for an evidence-based decision to inform the Department for Education’s future reforms to the EP training provider commissioning model.
In order to address the main aim and objectives of the study, a 5-stage mixed-methods approach will be conducted:
Stage 1) Expert interviews to obtain information on the changing pattern of organisations employing EPs, gauge existing data sources on the EP workforce and views on EP shortages.
Stage 2) Analysis of existing data to map the distribution and demographic profile of the EP workforce (LA and non-LA).
Stage 3) An online survey with Principal EPs at each of England's LAs.
Stage 4a) An in-depth focus group case study of a single LA with EP workforce shortages, drawing together key stakeholders.
Stage 4b) Semi-structured telephone interviews and/or online focus groups with representatives from (other) LAs, including those with shortages and those without (to identify potential good/promising practice).
Stage 5) An online survey of EPs qualifying in the past 5 years to examine the decision-making processes of those working in LA and non-LA jobs.
The project is due to run between June and September 2018. For any queries, please contact the PI, Clare Lyonette: C.Lyonette@warwick.ac.uk.