Dr Andrew Richards

Dr Andrew Richards

Renowned University of Exeter educational psychologist Dr Andrew Richards has been given a prestigious award for his outstanding contribution to children’s wellbeing.

Dr Richards was awarded the British Psychological Society Division of Educational and Child Psychology’s Award for Distinguished Contribution to Practice during the organisation’s annual conference in Nottingham.

Dr Richards was Programme Director of the Doctorate in Educational, Child and Community Psychology at the University of Exeter for two decades until his retirement in 2022 and is now an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Educational Psychology. He is a specialist in the dynamic assessment of children’s learning potential – assessing children’s thinking, learning, and problem-solving skills through an interactive process.

He has worked as an educational psychologist since 1991, following training at the Institute of Education. He started at the University of Exeter in 2000 in a joint role with North Somerset Council, before moving to a similar role in Devon. He has examined over 110 DEdPsych, DEd and PhD theses and has been involved in research projects looking at family-school relationships, dialogic education, children in local authority care and measures of group thinking.

The University of Exeter is one of a small number of institutions around the country to offer the Doctorate in Educational, Child and Community Psychology course. DEdPsych courses are funded by the Government and after finishing trainees work in local authorities for a minimum of two years. Trainees combine their studies with working for councils and start to specialise in a particular area of expertise towards the end of their course.

The University of Exeter course is taught team of educational psychologists, as well as drawing upon the expertise of EPs from around the region.

Dr Alexandra Allan, Head of the University of Exeter School of Education, said: “We are delighted that Dr Richards has been recognised in this way. Through his own practice as an educational psychologist, and his twenty years as Director of the Exeter Doctoral programme in Educational, Child and Community Psychology, Dr Richards has had a huge impact on children and young people across the region, and on the many generations of educational psychologists who have worked with him on the programme.

“We are extremely proud of the fact that we have involved in the training and development of educational psychologists for 50 years in the School of Education at Exeter. Dr Richards has been a significant part of this story – ensuring that cutting-edge close to practice research is at the heart of the programme because of the real difference it can make to the lives of children, young people and their parents.”