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Opening up the conversation about working with 16-25 year olds


Monday 5th October 2015 at BPS Offices, Tabernacle Street, London

This one-day event will feature presentations from practicing EPs who will use their real-world experience to provide advice, guidance and support to Educational Psychologists who wish to develop their skills in working with 16 to 25-year-olds.

There are a range of issues pertinent to this age group for educational psychologists to consider, including:

  • adult development;
  • further education and learning;
  • transitions;
  • becoming independent;
  • re-engaging with education and training;
  • employment related skills;
  • decision making and capacity;
  • informed consent;
  • psychological well-being;
  • confidentiality.

Learning outcomes and objectives:

  1. Increased awareness of wide range of issues pertinent to working with 16-25 age range
  2. Awareness of service delivery models/examples of best practice
  3. Awareness of further opportunities for skill development
  4. Links to other practising EPs

We will be updating the agenda, please check back regularly.


Literacy assessment in HE and FE settings - Dr Christopher Arnold

  • Why we should be concerned about NEET.
  • Causes of young people entering the NEET category.
  • The case for early intervention.
  • The case for an analysis of local conditions.
  • Developing a local screening tool.
  • Interventions that work.
  • Evidence for efficacy from a range of locations.
  • How EPs can contribute.
  • Brief summary of literacy assessment in 16-25 age group.
  • Legal framework for literacy difficulties/ dyslexia in FE/ HE settings
  • The case for appropriate terminology. Should we use the term "dyslexia" or not?
  • The function of assessment in these settings.
  • Changing the paradigm in line with recent research and legal judgements.
  • A possible model
  • Is this something we need to worry about?

Introduction to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and capacity assessments - Jane Sinson

The Children and Families Act 2014, and the accompanying SEND Code of Practice, incorporated the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005, and its’ Code of Practice, requiring education professionals to formally consider a young person’s capacity to make decisions about their education. The SEND COP Annex 1 is the only guidance from the DfE about this for education professionals; it has a number of shortcomings, which will be highlighted. This presentation is a brief introduction to the MCA, setting it in context and describing the five principles, defining what is meant by capacity and to lack capacity, as well as explaining the capacity assessment process. Additionally, particular issues for EPs will be considered.

Traded work with post 16 providers - Dr Jane Williams

Issues and opportunities in developing trading educational psychology services with post 16 providers over a 3 year period, will be explored in this session. Introductory details on the local context will lead onto an account of how a responsive traded offer was introduced in 2013. A practical evaluation of the flexible support packages delivered will include an overview of the challenges faced, as well as solutions and surprises. Presentation of a case-study will illustrate the opportunities for creative rewarding work with students. The range of approaches and materials used is highlighted. Finally future developments and opportunities in the context of EHC plans assessment work are noted.


If you have any queries please contact us via the event hotline on 01332 224506.


Monday 5th October 2015

We will be updating the agenda, please check back regularly.

09:00Arrival and refreshments
09:30Presentation 1 - Viv Clifford - An overview of the 16-25 Agenda
10:15Presentation 2 - Jane Sinson, The Mental Capacity Act
11:15Refreshment Break
11:45Presentation 3 - Christopher Arnold - NEET
13:15Presentation 4 - Nazam Hussain, Developing 16-25 approaches in my team; observations and reflections.
14:00Presentation 5 - Jane Williams, Traded work with post 16 providers
14:45Refreshment break
15:05Presentation 6 - Christopher Arnold - Literacy Assessment in HE and FE settings
15:50Closing remarks

Speakers and Facilitators

Dr Christopher Arnold

Dr Christopher Arnold is currently principal psychologist with ltd. He previously worked in the west midlands for nearly 30 years as a local authority EP and later as SEP with responsibility for managing an inclusion team in West Bromwich and Wednesbury. He has been working on reducing young people in the NEET category for a number of years and has co-authored a book on the subject. He is a manager in the Safe Arrivals Project which works in five EU locations. In July 2015 he was an invited expert to the EU President’s seminar on early school leaver reduction programmes.
In addition he has been part of the DECP working group on assessing literacy in the 16 -25 age group. He lives in East Sussex.

Jane Sinson

Jane Sinson has over 20 years experience as an EP. Since leaving the Local Authority five years ago she has been commissioned by several organisations including an expert witness agency and The Ear Foundation. She has undertaken capacity assessments of young adults involved in care proceedings, on behalf of the Official Solicitor. Jane is a specialist member of the First-tier Tribunal Special Educational Needs and Disability.

Dr Jane Williams

Jane has thoroughly enjoyed working with children and young people with additional challenges across all age ranges, and in many contexts, during her career. Initially Jane taught in specialist school provision in London. Following relocation Jane worked in homes and community pre-school settings supporting children and families in Birmingham, before training as an educational psychologist. In addition to taking a strategic lead in Dudley EPS on developing 16 – 25 service provision as a Senior Educational Psychologist, Jane has a special interest in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Personal Construct Psychology. Recently completed doctoral research at UCL combined these interests and extended previous work on the Drawing the Ideal School Technique. Jane represents Dudley EPS as Trainee EP selector, and occasional visiting lecturer at the University of Birmingham.


BPS Offices, Tabernacle Street, London

The British Psychological Society, 30 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4UE

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