Educational Psychology & Specialist Teaching Service (TEPATS)
Torbay Educational Psychology & Advisory Teacher Service (TEPATS) offers a range of advice, assessment, training and intervention to support children and young people 0-25 years old to schools and colleges, as detailed in thier service brochure and service users guide in the downloads section at the right-hand side of this webpage.
- They are the main provider of psychological services to schoolsand collages within torbay, through individualschooland college service level agreements.
- They are the sole provider, funded by Torbay Local Authority, to carry out statutory work in Torbay in order to identify and assess children, young people and young adults with special educational needs.
They work with children and young people, families, staff and other professionals, in a range of settings applying psychology to promote positive outcomes. They can offer advice if schools or families are having difficulty helping a child to improve. They work with children who may have special educational needs, or their families that require support. They also work with children and young people who have severe and complex needs to discuss the issues and possible interventions.
Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I contact the service directly?
Yes, our contact details are shown on this page. However, the staff at your child’s school or nursery or you GP are the best people to contact initially if you are concerned that your child may have special educational needs.
If you contact us directly we will ether:
- pass on your concerns to your child’s school and discuss what support from us, if any, they would like us to provide within their traded services contract with us
forward any requests for statutory assessment to our SEN team, who will seek further information from your child’s school before the request can be properly considered.
What kind of help will be given?
Your school will contact us to make a referral and arrange a consultation if necessary. We will jointly decide on an appropriate course of action in consultation with you and other adults who may be involved with your child (for example teachers or health visitors).
This will usually involve school and you implementing some sort of intervention programme or involve us carrying out some assessment work, for instance to look at your child’s learning.
Sometimes it may be appropriate to make a referral to another agency which the school or we will arrange, with your consent.
Will I be able to see what is written about my child?
Yes. Everything we record concerning your child is available for you to see. You will receive a copy of all consultation records and any reports written by us concerning your child.
What if I do not want the help of an Educational Psychologist?
If someone has referred your child they should have had your agreement beforehand. You should have received a consultation request form which requires a signature from a parent/guardian prior to any involvement from us. If you do not want our involvement then simply return the form to us and state clearly that this is the case. If you did agree but later change your mind then the involvement of the service will stop at your request.
What happens if my child goes to a school which is not in Torbay?
Some children who live in Torbay attend schools which are in Devon (i.e. in Newton Abbot, Totnes, Dartmouth etc.). Your child’s school has to have access to educational psychology but will not have purchased it from our service. We will only become involved if we are directed to do so from our SEN team in relation to statutory work.
What about exam dispensations or special arrangements for exams?
It is school’s responsibility to sort out any exam dispensations or special arrangements that your child may need in have when taking exams. Schools may choose to use their traded service time to support special exam arrangements. We can assist schools by: supporting them to complete required assessments and collect relevant evidence for them to submit to the examining board.
Who to contact
Where to go
- 2nd floor, Electric House
c/o Torbay Council
- TQ1 3DR
- Age Ranges
- From 0 years 0 months to 25 years 0 months
SEN InformationA printable version of this form is available in the downloads section.
What special education provision is available at our setting?
Torbay Educational Psychology and Advisory Teacher Service is part of Torbay Children’s Services. We work with early educational settings, schools, colleges, parents/carers, children and young people (CYP) and other professionals to promote children’s learning, development and psychological well being. We provide support to CYP with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) with the aim of identifying need, facilitating and evaluating support.
As Educational Psychologists (EPs) and Advisory Teacher for Special Educational Needs (SEN) we aim to promote the learning of all CYP in Torbay through the use of consultation, assessment, advice and training. As a team we work in a number of different ways, including assessment and observation of individual CYP, group work with educational setting staff and parents/carers as well as contributing to the development and implementation of school and local authority policies. We also support educational setting staff, parents/carers and CYP following critical incidents.
The EP and Advisory Teacher provides guidance and support to schools on a range of issues including SEND. The range of issues dealt with include: those arising from learning, emotional and behavioural challenges, language, developmental, physical and sensory difficulties. EPs work with CYP from birth up to the age of 25 with the goal of supporting the identification of barriers to learning and how to overcome these. The Advisory Teacher for SEN offers advice and support to Primary aged pupils. We work to solve problems by gathering information and sharing ideas with others. We can help educational setting staff and parents/carers to understand CYP’s individual needs and bring about change towards the goal of a positive and inclusive educational experience.
What criteria must be satisfied before children and young people can access this provision/service?
EPs mostly work with CYP with high levels of additional need, which are identified in the SEND Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years. If a CYP has additional needs which require the help of a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan, the EP will complete a statutory assessment, offering advice and planning in partnership with the family, early education setting, school or college.
The Advisory Teacher for SEN supports would carry out assessments for individual children, especially around literacy and numeracy as well as carry out observations and giving advice around classroom practice including intervention to support different aspects of learning.
All schools can also buy time from our service to support them in school development issues and the various needs of their CYP; this includes direct assessments with the CYP. The school agrees priorities with the EP and Advisory Teacher for SEN which means we do not have an open referral system for parents. However, we do need parental consent before we can see a CYP in the form of a signature on our referral form which will be completed in the educational setting.
How do we identify the particular special educational needs of a child or young person?
Usually, the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) at the early education setting, school or college will contact an EP or the Advisory teacher for SEN after deciding that a CYP might benefit from their help. The early education setting, school or college would then contact parents to ask for permission to provide this specialist support, ask their views, complete and sign the referral form. If you or your parent/carer thinks that the advice of an EP or the Advisory Teacher for SEN would be helpful but you have not been contacted by the educational setting, speak to the teacher or the SENCo.
How do we consult with parents and/or children and young people about their needs?
As a team we have excellent communication skills, including active listening. The EPs use a range of techniques grounded in psychological theory and research, including consultation to gather the views of parents and CYP, explore problem situations and potential changes to be made. A range of activities can be used to support the expression of views when we work with parents/carers and CYP ranging from questionnaires to drawing.
What is our approach to teaching children and young people with special educational needs?
This is not applicable as we are not involved in the direct teaching of CYP.
How can we adapt our curriculum for children and young people with special educational needs?
This is not applicable as we are not involved in the direct teaching of CYP.
How will we ensure we get the services, provision and equipment that children and young people need?
Through a ‘Plan, Do, Review’ cycle of working we can support educational setting staff to monitor the progress of CYP and the extent to which an intervention(s) is addressing barriers to learning. Our service works as part of a wider multi-agency children’s workforce so through consultation with educational setting staff, families and CYP we can support the identification of any further assessments and advice needed and signpost to other services as appropriate.
How is this provision funded?
The Educational Psychology Service and Advisory Teacher for SEN are funded as part of Torbay Local Authority Children’s Services.
What additional learning support is available for children and young people with special educational needs and how do they access it?
This is dependent on the educational setting that you will be attending and the resources/provision they have. The role of the service is similar across educational settings in terms of the overall aims but each assessment, and therefore the support to help a CYP learn, is on an individualised basis.
How do we support and improve the emotional and social development of children and young people with special educational needs?
As a service we support schools and families in addressing the needs of CYP who are experiencing emotional and behavioural difficulties or who disengaged from education, or are at risk of exclusion and who present with challenging social and emotional needs which have not responded to school intervention.
The EPs will use their skills and knowledge of psychology means that we can support you in talking about your views, feelings and beliefs. We can then support adults in educational settings and families to identify interventions within your setting that will support your social and emotional development as well as work towards involving other services for further advice and assessment if needed.
How do we support children and young people with special educational needs moving between phases of education and preparing for adulthood?
This would incorporate the typical ways in which we work, for example, consultation may be held with CYP, families and school staff to discuss concerns about a move, on-going barriers to learning, how these are currently addressed and what else might need to be done prior to the transition. We would also be able to support the identification of other assessments, services or groups of professionals that may need to be involved to help the transition.
EPs are involved in supporting CYP when moving between phases when there is a concern about the future educational provision for a young person. EPs are routinely involved with primary school children in Year 5 as consideration is given to secondary transfer and often at the time of school Reception entry. We can support you, your family and educational setting staff to plan for potential difficulties, how to address these and how this will be reviewed.
The Advisory Teacher also provides support for schools with regard to making provision for CYP with SEN and monitoring and reviewing their progress through regularly monitoring the Statements / Education and Health care Plans and liaising with the staff in schools and settings to help support you and your family.
What other support is available for children and young people with special educational needs and how can they access it?
The Educational Psychology and Advisory Teacher Service can often signpost CYP and families to other services if it is felt that the involvement of other professionals is appropriate.
What extra-curricular activities are available for children and young people with special educational needs?
This is not applicable to our service but we can signpost CYP and families to extra-curricular activities in our local area.
How do we assess and review progress towards agreed outcomes, and how are parents, children and young people involved in this process?
The Educational Psychology and Advisory Teacher (SEN) Service uses a model of ‘Plan, Do, Review’ to monitor progress and evaluate interventions, recommendations and strategies. Usually this would involve working with the SENCo to monitor a CYP’s progress and arrange for further consultation where necessary.
We can also be involved in the Annual Review process for CYP with Statements of Special Educational Needs and Education, Health and Care Plans.
How do we assess the effectiveness of our special needs provision and how are parents, children and young people involved in this assessment?
We involve the parents and CYP, wherever possible, in the review of our work as part of the ‘Plan, Do and Review’ cycle.
As a service we will send annual questionnaires to parents, CYP and SENCOs in educational settings.
We will also carry out a review of our advice to assess its effectiveness against a range of measures, to ensure it is helpful to support the progress of all CYP.
How do we ensure that teaching staff and other staff have the expertise needed to support children and young people with special educational needs?
All of the EPs in Torbay have a first degree in psychology as well as the necessary postgraduate qualifications in educational psychology which are recognised by the Health and Care Professionals Council and the British Psychological Society.
The Advisory Teacher for SEN has a Certificate in Education, postgraduate diplomas and a Masters degree covering a range of SEN.
All staff also have current checks from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS; previously known as a CRB check).
How do we keep parents informed where children and young people have special educational provision but do not have an Education Health and Care Plan?
Following referral to our service, parents will have opportunities to keep updated with the progress of the educational psychology assessment through face-to-face consultation, telephone contact and written reports. The Advisory Teacher for SEN provides written reports to the schools and will discuss these with parents on request either face-to-face or by phone/ e-mail.
Depending on how an educational setting has decided to use their time with the Educational Psychology Service, informal parent groups, advice and drop-in sessions with the EP may be available.
How can parents, children and young people make a complaint about our provision?
If you are dissatisfied, please talk directly to the EP or Advisory Teacher as soon as possible. Many difficulties can be sorted out on the spot. If this is not possible, then you may wish to speak to the service manager or you can use the Children’s Services complaints procedure accessible at:
How can parents, children and young people get more information about the setting?
You can find out more about the Torbay Educational Psychology Service and Advisory Teacher for SEN at our website: