Kate Fallon, General Secretary of the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) said:
"The new research backs up what we’ve been hearing from our members. We know that there is an ever-growing demand for our services, including contributing to an increasing number of Education, Health and Care Plans as well as providing specialist support for a wide range of children and young people with SEND and advice on mental health and wellbeing. A recent survey of our members indicated that over 85% of respondents had seen their workload increase significantly over the past 5 years.
"As a profession, our capacity to meet this demand is limited, especially taking into account our pivotal role in the new mental health support teams. We were delighted when the Education Secretary announced last year that the number of training places would be increased, something we have campaigned for over a number of years. This announcement will make a significant difference to our ability as a profession to meet the needs of children and their families in the future."
Claire Murdoch, NHS England’s National Director for Mental Health said:
"This is a welcome step in the right direction – building on the enormous amount of work already under way to support children and young people’s health and wellbeing from an early age.
"We know that people will need additional support from time to time and so rightly the NHS Long Term plan is investing in earlier support, through the introduction of mental health support teams, school nurses and now with this announcement more educational psychologists ensuring people get the everyday support needed to really thrive."
The government's research maps the distribution and demographic profile of local authority educational psychologists in England. It also provides evidence on factors affecting shortages of trainee and qualified educational psychologists in some local authorities.