I am a Chartered Educational Psychologist with 20 years’ experience of working with children between the ages of three and 19, in both the public and independent sectors. I work with children who have a wide range of needs and difficulties and I specialise in specific learning difficulties, including Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia and speech and language difficulties.

Qualifications and experience

Nicola Bishop BA (Hons), PGTC (Goldsmiths), MSc Educational Psychology (Institute of Education),
Chartered Educational Psychologist

As an Educational Psychologist I have expertise in the areas of child development, psychology and learning. Educational Psychologists are uniquely qualified to look into problems relating to young people’s education and happiness in the school environment. Unlike many more recently qualified Educational Psychologists, my training included experience as a primary school teacher, so the classroom and curriculum challenges faced by children and teachers are familiar to me. Following my professional training I worked in the public sector, gaining experience of the full range of educational and behavioural needs affecting children in mainstream and special educational settings. For the past 10 years I have been self-employed, based in London, Sussex and Hampshire. My work includes individual assessments of children whose parents need help defining and meeting their needs, as well as working with a number of independent schools to provide a psychological service for parents, children and teachers.

How can an assessment help?

There are times when young people experience difficulty at school and their parents and teachers feel they would like advice. An assessment by someone who can look with fresh eyes, as well as experience of child development, can be very helpful to parents and teachers in finding ways to ensure that the child reaches academic potential and is happy in the school environment. For some pupils it will become apparent through assessment that the difficulties result from a learning difficulty. For others, difficulties are less easily defined, but some adjustment or additional help can make all the difference. Whether a condition such as Dyslexia or Dyspraxia is suspected, or there are more general concerns about happiness or progress, consultation and individual work with an Educational Psychologist provides a positive way forward.

What does an assessment involve?

An assessment involves discussion with parents, teachers and the child; individual work looking at areas of strength and weakness and current levels of attainment; and sometimes observation in the classroom. At the end of the assessment parents receive feedback, which includes suggestions for resolving difficulties, followed by a full written report. Follow-up work with either the young person, parents or school can then be arranged if appropriate.

The Individual Session
The assessment takes between two and two and a half hours, depending on the child’s age and pace of working. The work undertaken consists of a series of short activities, some of which are more like games than tests. Children normally have at least one break during the session and, for those who are young or experience particular difficulty with concentration, the assessment can be arranged over two or more days. As well as some reading, writing and number work, there will be activities that look at verbal, non-verbal abilities and aspects of information-processing skills, including memory and speed. The tests used form a structured interview and it is not just the results that are important but how the individual approaches tasks and the response, both cognitive and emotional. From all the information gathered, and information given by parents and teachers, I am then able to give an outline of strengths and weaknesses and where any difficulties lie. You will be given verbal feedback following the session and receive a written report within a couple of weeks. The report will include recommendations and suggestions as to how best to improve attainments, whether a learning difficulty has been identified or not.

After the Session
The reports that I write are individual to the child and written in plain, accessible, jargon-free English, with any statistical information explained. The focus of the report is to enable schools and parents to understand where difficulties lie and move forward to produce a positive outcome for everyone. The emphasis therefore goes into recommendations, as well as making the child’s strengths and weaknesses clear to the reader. Reports are confidential and only shared with other people with your permission. If the school or parents have any questions I am always happy to be contacted.

What might be recommended after assessment?
For most children there will be areas of difficulty that can be addressed by particular teaching approaches or strategies. Specific programmes of work may be appropriate to build reading, spelling or maths skills. These will vary from individual to individual and reflect strengths or patterns of weakness that have been shown in the assessment. The difficulties shown by older pupils may entitle them to special access arrangements for exams, either at school or for public exams. This may be in the form of additional time allowances, use of a laptop, or in some cases a reader and scribe. Pupils leaving school for university may be entitled to apply for a Disabled Students Allowance. In most cases, but only with the parent’s agreement, some feedback is given to the young person.

Some comments made by parents following assessment over the last year

“Dear Nicola, Thank you so much for seeing Olivia and for compiling the report so fast! That has to be a world record. I have read the report again, and again thank you for recommending her extra time. Olivia enjoyed her afternoon with you and found the tests challenging, without being threatening, which reflects your empathetic approach.”

“Hi Nicola, Just got off the phone with the head of learning development at the school. She said that the children’s EP reports ‘were excellent, some of the best she’d ever seen – very comprehensive and holistic’. Thought you’d like to hear that!”

“I am pleased that we asked you to assess Alice properly to give us a full picture. It definitely gives us a good idea of her strengths and how we need to guide her to make sure she makes the most of the bear pit that is school life.”

Contact information

Mobile 07854351329


8 Owers Way
West Wittering
PO20 8HA
01243 671483

65 Eswyn Road
SW17 8TR
020 8767 3634