Carmel Durkin – Educational Psychologist

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Carmel Durkin – Educational Psychologist

BEd. Hons, PGDip Psychology (Conversion), MA, MSc (Educational Psychology), MSc (Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience), Doc.Ed.Psych.

Carmel has over twenty years of experience as an educational psychologist, having worked for four local education authorities before moving into private practice in 2007. Carmel is skilled at investigating the range of factors that can impact on learning, and has worked with young children through to students in higher education.

Carmel’s practice is directly informed by relevant research from educational and psychological sources as well as cognitive and affective neuroscience. Carmel’s assessments are thorough and focus on the questions raised by those requesting the assessment. Carmel is able to form positive relationships with children and young people to enable them to demonstrate all of their capabilities when tests are administered and her range of interviewing techniques allows them to talk about their experience of learning so they take an active part in the process.

Carmel views assessments as an important part of a wider process. Detailed background information is gathered from the parents and where possible the school. The findings of the assessment are communicated clearly in her reports and related to relevant recommendations for parents, teachers, school-based staff and sometimes professionals from other disciplines. Carmel is able to meet with teachers and support staff in schools, when requested, to help them to consider ways of incorporating the recommendations in her report into their practice and to advise on strategies for monitoring progress.


What Carmel Can Help With


Assessments of early skills development

These assessments are for children aged 5 years old. They are designed to ascertain their strengths, identify any early difficulties with learning, provide suggested programmes of support and are one way of monitoring progress over time. These assessments can be undertaken with any young children but may be particularly helpful for those with identified speech and language difficulties to identify the impact of these on literacy and mathematical skill development so that effective support in school is in place from an early stage.

An assessment of early skills development includes:

  • Classroom observation (30-45 minutes) in a suitable lesson

  • Early reading accuracy skills

  • Early reading rate and reading comprehension skills

  • Early spelling skills

  • Phonological (sound) processing

  • Numeracy skills

  • Mathematical problem solving

  • Working memory investigation

  • Feedback meeting with parents, the teacher and any support staff to talk through information gained and to advise on programmes of support and methods for monitoring progress.


Psycho-educational assessments (6-16 years)

Carmel can undertake assessments to investigate the reasons why a child/young person is not making expected progress which could relate to:

  • Specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and the cognitive/educational aspects of dyspraxia/DCD

  • Working memory limitations

  • More general executive function difficulties, often evident in children with problems with attention and concentration

  • Low levels of confidence

  • General difficulties with learning.


Support for school staff and monitoring of progress

Carmel can meet with teachers and support staff in school to develop strategies for putting recommendations from assessments into practice and to develop systems for monitoring progress.


Assessments for Sixth Form Students Preparing to Study at University

Carmel can undertake psycho-educational assessments with sixth-from students with specific learning difficulties as they:

  • May be eligible to apply for the Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) to access appropriate equipment and support during their degree course.

  • Can request continuation of the access arrangements that were in place when they sat GCSE and/or A level examinations.

  • Such students are required to provide evidence of their specific learning difficulty and the likely impact during higher education. The evidence required is a comprehensive report from an assessment undertaken after turning 16.


Psychological Coaching for Confidence

Learning difficulties can impact on confidence with learning, and some children hold limiting beliefs about their potential abilities for a range of reasons. Carmel can also offer one to one psychological coaching, over a number of sessions, to explore the reasons for low confidence and to support the child/young person to challenge their limiting beliefs and help them to increase their educational progress.

Coaching is most suitable for young people of 10 years and older as they need to be reflective and have some element of control as part of the agreed actions from sessions.


Training with Parents and Teachers

Carmel is experienced in providing training for teachers and parents. She is able to provide training sessions on a range of areas including:

  • The development of reading and spelling skills.

  • Dyslexia: Current evidence from cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

  • Dyscalculia: Current evidence from cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

  • Executive Functions and their importance in learning.

  • Attention control in the classroom, the links with working memory and learning and the impact of anxiety.

  • The importance of self-efficacy in learners.


Professional Qualifications and Registration

  • Professional Doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of East London.

  • Registered Educational Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council (UK).

  • Chartered status and Associate Fellow with the British Psychological Society.

  • On the British Psychological Society’s Register of Qualifications in Test Use.


To make an appointment with Carmel or speak to her about your concerns, please call us on 0208 6737930.

Lizz Summers

Voice & Presentation Skills Coach