Educational Psychologist London Surrey

Dr Joanne Riordan
BSc(Hons), PGCE, DecPsy, CPsychol
Independent Educational and Child Psychologist

What does an Educational and Child Psychologist do?

An Educational and Child Psychologist (sometimes referred to as an ‘Ed Psych’ or ‘EP’) applies their knowledge of Child Development and Psychology to support how children feel, learn, develop, and get along with others. We work with children and young people aged 0-25 years.

About Dr Joanne

I believe that education can change lives, and that psychology is a powerful tool for change. Therefore, I am very proud of my job as an Educational and Child Psychologist.  

I have always had a keen interest in watching children develop, and volunteered in primary schools alongside completing my First-class honours (1st) degree in Psychology. Once I graduated, it seemed a natural step to train to be a teacher.

I qualified from the University of Cambridge as a Secondary school Science teacher. Whilst teaching, it was noticed that I was particularly good at helping pupils with special educational needs (SEN) to make progress. This was because I used a positive approach and adapted my teaching methods to utilise the young people’s strengths, whilst maintaining an understanding of their difficulties. 

Over time, I decided to combine my interests in both psychology and education, by training to be an Educational and Child Psychologist. I was accepted onto the competitive three-year Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology course at University College London (UCL).

I have experience of working in the Educational Psychology Service of two Local Authorities, as well as working in private practice. I am a guest lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London, where I lecture to undergraduate Psychology degree level students. In additon, I am a mentor at the University of Cambridge. 

In addition to all my professional experience, I am also a mother to three wonderful sons. During my first maternity leave, I acquired a keen interest in the development of babies and toddlers. Never one to take a break from learning, I became registered as an Early Years Practitioner with Ofsted. This combined with my teaching experience means that I am in the unique position of having taught other people’s children, from age 0 years to 18 years!

How Does Dr Joanne work?

I have a flexible approach, which has allowed me to carry out a wide range of activities. My work spans from assessing and planning interventions for individual children to delivering training to teachers and parents. I have also delivered direct support to children, such as individual interventions based on cognitive behavioural approaches.

  • I work in a collaborative manner with the child, parents/carers, and other professionals to ensure that we are all moving forward in the same direction. 

  • I am action-orientated and want people to walk away from my involvement feeling like they have a clear plan that will lead to change.

  • I am skilled in drawing out and listening to the voice of the young person, and am often surprised how easily children express their views and ideas to me. 

  • I am respectful towards children and young people and aim for them to feel better about themselves when they walk out the door, than they did before they entered to see me. 

  • I draw on positive psychology and draw out the young person’s strengths and the strengths around them. 

  • I know first hand that every parent’s ultimate goal is for their child to be happy. It makes sense that a happy child learns better. Consequently, I consider each child’s emotional well-being, as well as their learning skills. 

  • Lastly and most importantly, I know how each child is precious and unique. This is why I am so passionate about providing children with the tools to reach their full potential.

Dr Joanne’s Professional Memberships

  • Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

  • Registered as a Practioner Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

  • Member of the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP).