A school Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator (SENDCo) may arrange for a parent/carer to meet the educational psychologist. This can be without making a formal referral. It is so that you can think about what will happen next and ask any questions.
If it is decided an educational psychologist should work with the child, the SENDCo will make the referral. The SENDCo must discuss this with you first, and obtain your signed consent, before they can send a referral. This referral is called an e-CAF.
Sometimes other agencies, mainly health professionals, let the Local Authority know they think a child needs extra help. The law says that they have to do this if they have a concern. If this happens, the SENDCo, a teacher, or an educational psychologist will contact you, the parent/carer. This is to find out more and discuss the options about who should help.
An educational psychologist will not see a child or young person without consent. For a child under 16 this must be the consent of a parent/carer. For a young person aged 16 or above it could be the young person themselves who signs consent. This is where they have the capacity to do so.
Parents/carers cannot refer directly themselves.
If the Local Authority agrees to carry out an assessment, the SEN team requests statutory advice from an educational psychologist. The Local Authority assessment is a statutory Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment. The SEN team will have already obtained consent from a parent/carer or young person aged 16 or above. This is to agree to carry out the assessment.