Kevin shares his career path from working as a primary school teacher in a number of schools before working in a special school for pupils with special education needs. This led him to complete a Diploma in Special Education and later completing a degree in Psychology through the Open University and later a master's in Educational Psychology.
What was your education path to becoming an Educational Psychologist?
I initially trained as a primary school teacher and worked in a number of schools before working in a special school for pupils with special education needs. While there, I completed a full time Diploma in Special Education. Through this course and working with an Educational Psychologist and a Clinical Psychologist in my school, I decided to complete a Degree in Psychology through the Open University. Following the completion of that degree I completed the master’s in educational psychology in UCD.
What does your role entail as an Educational Psychologist in the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS)?
My work in NEPS entails a wide variety of activities such as direct and indirect case work with children, parents, and teachers in the primary, post-primary and special schools assigned to me. Work also includes support and development to schools through the delivery of a wide range of topics prepared by NEPS as well as tailor-made in-services for individual schools or groups of teachers. My role also includes attending meetings and working with other agencies and organisations when necessary. I also supervise students completing their Doctorate in Educational Psychology, as well as providing individual supervision to psychologists within the organisation. I have regional responsibility for the organisation's continuous professional development (CPD) to the psychologists. I also work as part of a team in the delivery of NEPS services such as 'Critical Incident' training, 'Friends for Life' training to mention but a few of the many training programmes available. Teamwork allows for collaboration and the development of a spirit of comradery which is essential to the work.
What were your reasons for joining the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS)?
NEPS provided me with the opportunity to use the skills and training I had developed through my teaching career as well as the various degrees I completed. NEPS afforded me the opportunity for career change after spending many years teaching and studying in the field of education and psychology in a very structured and supportive way.
What opportunities has this role provided you with?
NEPS provided me with opportunities for training in various programmes by national and international speakers such as, Consultation Model, Emotional Coaching and Supervision to mention but a few. NEPS facilitated the attendance at national and international conferences.
Working in NEPs gave me the opportunity for individual CPD training in areas of particular interest to me.
What aspect of your role as a psychologist in the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) do you particularly enjoy?
The aspect of my role in NEPS which I thoroughly enjoy is working with the children, parents and teachers in my assigned schools, in a problem-solving manner to find the best outcomes for the child in relation to the concerns expressed. I also enjoy delivering in-services to schools and supervising students completing their training in NEPS.