Supervision for staff working in schools and community contexts: working relationally and reflectively

Course overview

Supervision is a work-based learning relationship, characterised by relating and reflecting. 

It is a critical component of safe and effective practice across the human services, ensuring a containing and reflective space for practitioners to acknowledge and process the often stressful, uncomfortable and painful experiences of working with children, young people, their families and the systems around them. Through containment and reflection rooted in a dynamic and relational supervisory experience, both supervisor and supervisee are enabled to learn and grow across their professional career. 

This course is designed for practitioners experienced in providing supervision to colleagues in their own work contexts, as well as those planning to take up a supervisory role in future. 

The course is informed by the integration of theory, research and practice-based evidence on supervision. It aims to ensure all participants understand the importance of ethical and anti-discriminatory supervision across their career, and in making use of various supervisory models to reflect on and review practice. It provides an opportunity to develop supervisory skills and competencies, including those outlined in the British Psychological Society’s Division of Educational and Child Psychology Guidelines for Professional Supervision Practice. 

During the course, we explore supervisory models, relationships and processes using the literature and participant contribution to draw out some of the issues which arise in supervision. There is a particular emphasis on the consideration of systemic, attachment and psychodynamic perspectives on the supervisory relationship. Developing a supportive and reflective atmosphere within which to think about the meaning of the supervisory task and context, as well as the material brought to and from supervision, is critical to the success of the course. 

Experiential Component

There is an experiential component to all sessions, where participants bring material from their own work contexts for exploration. This component across the five days promotes self-awareness, reflection and enhances supervisory skills in attuning to the diverse needs, competence levels and desired outcomes of different supervisees. Given the central significance of power, privilege and oppression within the supervisory relationship and its situated context, there are repeated opportunities provided to support participants’ capacity to promote equity, inclusion and belonging within supervision.  

Developmental Tasks

At the end of days 1 to 4, a task pertaining to developing supervisory competence is discussed and participants are expected to apply their learning in their work context and bring back the experience of doing so for small group reflection and feedback. 

Practice of Group Supervision

From Autumn 2022, we have included a 5th day on the practice of group supervision, based on the high demand from previous participants for input on providing supervision to groups.

Upon successful completion of this course participants will have increased knowledge in and understanding of:

  • aims, functions and models of supervision in the diverse organisational contexts within which it takes place;
  • the professional, ethical, legal and regulatory contexts within which supervision is provided;
  • issues pertaining to sameness, difference and diversity in supervision;

and will have enhanced their skills in:

  • establishing, developing and ending a supervisory relationship, including contracting and reviewing the effectiveness for supervisee and supervisor
  • supervisory processes
  • communication within the supervisory context, including the provision and receipt of feedback [and evaluation where relevant].

This course has been designed for teachers and senior staff working in schools, children's services, or other care or educational contexts who either currently provide supervision as part of their professional role or who are interested in doing so. It is also suitable for applied psychologists engaging in supervisory practice in local government, public sector, child, family and adult services and alternative contexts (e.g., social enterprises, voluntary and independent private practice).  In particular,  

(i) Educational Psychologists involved in providing supervision to trainee EPs within the national Professional Practice Placement Framework and

(ii) psychologists focused on enhancing HCPC proficiency standards pertaining to supervision may wish to attend.

This course is facilitated by:

Dr Emma-Kate Kennedy, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Dr Kennedy is Deputy Programme Director for the educational psychology doctoral training programme at the Trust, as well as team manager for the Autism and Learning Disabilities Team in the Children, Young Adults and Families Department. She leads on the development of supervisory practice on the initial training course, including current research into the experience of supervisory relationships from the perspective of supervisee and supervisor and has presented at national and international conferences in this area. She provides supervision to trainees and staff in her training and clinical roles, as well as to staff in schools

Dr Chris Shaldon, a Senior Educational Psychologist in Islington local authority and an Academic and Professional Tutor on the educational psychology doctoral training programme at the Trust. Dr Shaldon has extensive experience as a supervisor for both trainees and qualified practitioners, including Designated Safeguarding Leads in schools and supervision is a core research area of interest.

Dr Caoimhe McBay is a chartered psychologist, Educational Psychologist in Lewisham local authority and an Academic and Professional Tutor on the educational psychology doctoral training programme at the Trust. Caoimhe has extensive experience as a supervisor of trainees and completed her professional doctorate in educational psychology with a research focus on supervision.

I found the course inspiring. There was a wealth of experience in the attendees and I have learned so much from them.

It was thoughtful, respectful, provocative, restorative.

Extremely well organised; appropriately attentive to our physical wellbeing by building in regular screen breaks; a lot of content but the pacing was beautifully calm; I have learned so many immediately practical and applicable tools; it provided an opportunity to reflect on my 'same old' offer of supervision over nearly two decades, which did 'no harm' but could be much improved!

Building on previous experience of delivery as a fully online course, the intention is to offer a blended model.

The course plans to meet in person at the Tavistock Centre in London (subject to the continued easing of COVID restrictions) on days one and five and through the online video-conferencing platform Zoom on days two to four for lectures and workshops. Between these sessions delegates will use Moodle, our Virtual Learning Environment, for exchanging questions, comments and dialogue.

There is an emphasis on active participation and learning through reflection on experience, and participants bringing practice experience from their own work contexts for reflection with the group.

The required digital tools are easy and safe to use regardless of your level of IT skill.
You will need a device with a microphone and camera together with a suitably fast internet connection. Although mobile devices and tablets can be used, we recommend the use of laptop or desktop PC for the best experience. Some devices provided by employers may have restrictions in place. Please use this test link ( to check your set up before booking.
You will be sent joining instructions including all the necessary login links, passwords and guidance on how to use the relevant functionality about a week before the course start date.

Should you have any concerns about the accessibility of remote delivery please contact us at to discuss how we can best help you.

The course will run on Saturday from 9.00am - 4.00pm, on the following dates: 

  • 8 October 2022 (in person), 
  • 19 November 2022 (online),
  • 14 January 2023 (online),
  • 11 March 2023 (online),
  • and 20 May 2023 (in-person) 

The in-person sessions on 8 October 2022 and 20 May 2023 will be held at the Tavistock Centre (120 Belsize Lane, London NW3 5BA) subject to the NHS Covid-19 restrictions in force at the time. On the other dates the course will meet over Zoom and we reserve the right to switch days one and / or five to remote delivery if required.


To apply, please use the green 'Apply' button on the left of the screen.

Bursary Opportunity

We are delighted to be offering two bursaries for applicants from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds who secure a place on the course starting in September 2022. Please read more information here and download a bursary application form here.

Included in your course fee, you will receive online membership of the Tavistock’s internationally-renowned library for the duration of your course.

Our friendly and knowledgeable library team will help to support you through your specialist CPD course, whatever your level of professional or academic experience. You will have access to an extensive range of eBooks, online journals, all the relevant key databases and our specialist audio-visual collection, plus reference access to all our print books. Our Information Skills Trainer has made lots of material available on Moodle to help you navigate our comprehensive electronic collections. PCs and photocopiers are also available for your use (charges apply for printing and copying).

Library staff curate various online resources, such as Audio/Video Playlists, and regularly share helpful news and research on Twitter and Facebook. Find out more on the Library website:

Certificate of attendance
The Tavistock Centre, London
Admission status:
October 2022 to May 2023
Course lead:
Emma-Kate Kennedy

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“BPS approved supervision training for the society’s Register of Applied Psychology Practice Supervisors (RAPPS)”

“BPS approved supervision training for the society’s Register of Applied Psychology Practice Supervisors (RAPPS)”