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Training provider focus groups - Participant information leaflet

Participant Information Leaflet
for Training Providers
Focus Groups

Study Title:

Educational Psychology services: Workforce insights and school’s perspectives on impact


Gaby Atfield, Beate Baldauf, Erika Kispeter and David Owen (Warwick Institute for Employment Research)


You are invited to take part in a research study. Before you decide, you need to understand why the research is being done and what it would involve for you. Please take the time to read the following information carefully. Talk to others about the study if you wish.

Please ask us if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Take time to decide whether or not you wish to take part.

A downloadable version of this document is available here: Participant Information Leaflet for Training providers Focus groups

Who is organising and funding the study?

The Department for Education (DfE) is organising and funding this study, which will be carried out by the Institute for Employment Research (IER) at the University of Warwick and Ecorys.

What is the study about?

1) What service EPs deliver within the wider support landscape and beyond their statutory work on Education, Health and Care Plans

2) Demand for EP services in education settings (including primary schools, secondary schools, and FE colleges)

3) Drivers of and barriers to EP training and retention in the workforce, and the ability to meet demand for EPs sustainably.

The element of the study you are being invited to participate in is focus groups with providers of doctoral training.

The research will also involve a survey among Principal Educational Psychologists and another with Educational Psychologists, including Trainee and Assistant Educational Psychologists, focus groups and interviews with PEPs and other stakeholders, and some follow up interviews and case studies within schools (the latter to be undertaken by Ecorys).

The data is being collected for and on behalf of the DfE.

What would taking part involve?

This part of the study invites you to join an online focus group session with other colleagues from your own service area via Microsoft Teams or, if you prefer, an interview either by telephone or Teams.

We are keen to learn more about your experience of recruitment to EP training courses, the current training model and commissioning of training, workforce issues in educational psychology, and your views on funding of doctoral training and delivery models.

The online focus group is expected to last up to about 90 minutes and will be organised at a convenient date and time. While we are running a total of two focus groups.

If you are interested in joining a focus group, we will ask you to complete an online consent form providing some personal data so that we can contact you. This will include:

    • your first and last name,

    • your HEI

    • your job title,

    • an email address we can contact you on

The focus group will be audio-recorded.

Do I have to take part?

No. Participation in this study is completely voluntary and choosing not to take part will not affect you in any way. You can also choose to withdraw your participation without giving a reason by contacting one of the research team, up to a certain point. Further details about withdrawing from the study are provided later on in this document.

What are the possible benefits of taking part in this study?

Your views and assessments will be key to help broadening DfE evidence base of the Educational Psychologist (EP) workforce and informing DfE approach to EP training and funding.

What are the possible disadvantages, side effects or risks, of taking part in this study?

There are no anticipated disadvantages, side effects, risks, and/or discomforts of taking part in this study as the focus group or the interview. It will only ask you about your own experiences and assessments.

If you chose to take part in the focus group, we will ask you and others in the group not to talk to people outside the group about what was said during the discussion. However, we need you to be aware that we cannot stop or prevent participants who were in the group from sharing information that should be confidential.

Expenses and payments

There will be no expenses or payments available for participating in the focus group or the interview.

Will my taking part be kept confidential?

We will not report your name or anything that would make you personally identifiable in any outputs from the research and all best endeavours will be made to ensure that data in any publications is anonymised. All participants will be given a pseudonym for the purposes of reporting, and any identifying information will be removed to ensure confidentiality.

For the focus group you will have the option to join Teams as a guest. This means that fellow training providers will not see your name displayed in the focus group. You also have the option to join via camera or off camera, as you prefer. It is easy to join a Teams meeting even if you do not have access to Teams via your organisation.

The audio-recording of the focus groups will be stored safely on a password-protected folder at the University of Warwick and will only be accessible by the University of Warwick research team. Audio-recordings and write ups will be saved by the date and the research strand. Contact details along with the date the focus group took place will be encrypted and will not be stored in the same file as your data from the focus group. Pseudonymised write ups may be shared with our research partners at Ecorys for the process of writing up the final report.

What will happen to the data collected about me?

As a publicly-funded organisation, the University of Warwick have to ensure that it is in the public interest when we use personally-identifiable information from people who have agreed to take part in research. This means that when you agree to take part in a research study, such as this, we will use your data in the ways needed to conduct and analyse the research study.

We will be using information from you in order to undertake this study. For the purpose of data protection legislation, DfE is the data controller for this project. The University of Warwick is committed to protecting the rights of individuals in line with data protection legislation. The University of Warwick will keep information about you for ten years after the study has finished. However, your contact details and audio-recordings will be safely deleted at the end of the project.

Research data will be pseudonymised as quickly as possible after data collection. This means all direct and indirect identifiers will be removed from the research data and will be replaced with a key (date and focus group or interview). The key to identification will be stored separately and securely to the research data to safeguard your identity.

Your rights to access, change or move your information are limited, as we need to manage your information in specific ways in order for the research to be reliable and accurate. The University of Warwick has in place policies and procedures to keep your data safe.

This data may also be used for future research, including impact activities following review and approval by an independent Research Ethics Committee and subject to your consent at the outset of this research project.

For further information, please refer to the University of Warwick Research Privacy Notice which is available here: or by contacting the Legal and Compliance Team at

For information on the Department for Education’s Data Privacy Notice, see here: DfE Privacy notice

What will happen if I don’t want to carry on being part of the study?

Participation in this study is entirely voluntary. Refusal to participate will not affect you in any way. If you agree to participate, you may nevertheless withdraw from the study at any time without affecting you in any way. You have the right to withdraw from the study completely and decline any further contact by study staff after you withdraw.

Please note that if you withdraw from the study, it will not be possible to withdraw your focus group data after if the focus group has already commenced, as we will be unable to remove your anonymous or pseudonymised responses from the Teams transcription. Please also note that it will not be possible to withdraw your interview data a week after the interview has been held as data analysis of pseudonymised will already have started.

To withdraw your data please contact the researcher who has conducted the interview or Gaby Atfield (

What will happen to the results of the study?

A report will be published by DfE and on the IER website.

Who has reviewed the study?

This study has been reviewed and given favourable opinion by the University of Warwick’s Humanities and Social Science Research Ethics Committee (HSSREC) [HSSREC reference number: 129/21-22]

Who should I contact if I want further information?

Gaby Atfield (Principal Investigator) at the University of Warwick:

If you wish to speak to the DfE about this project, please contact:

Who should I contact if I wish to make a complaint?

Any complaint about the way you have been dealt with during the study or any possible harm you might have suffered will be addressed. Please address your complaint to the person below, who is a senior University of Warwick official entirely independent of this study:

Head of Research Governance

Research & Impact Services

University House

University of Warwick




Tel: 02476 575733

You can also contact the Department for Education’s Data Protection Officer via by marking your correspondence as for the attention of the ‘DPO’.

If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can contact our Data Protection Officer who will investigate the matter:

If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are processing your personal data in a way that is not lawful you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

If you wish to make a complaint to the DfE about this project, please contact:

Thank you for taking the time to read this Participant Information Leaflet