Supervision for staff working in schools and community contexts: working relationally and reflectively (CPD32)

A supportive and reflective atmosphere in which to think about the meaning of the supervisory task and context

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 you if you are a practitioner experienced in providing supervision to colleagues in their own work contexts, as well as those planning to take up a supervisory role in future.

Aims and learning objectives

Upon successful completion of this course you will have an increased knowledge 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,

You will have enhanced 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)

Who is this course for?

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 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, it is suitable for:   

  • educational psychologists involved in providing supervision and training within the national Professional Practice Placement Framework and
  • psychologists focused on enhancing HCPC proficiency standards pertaining to supervision

Course details

This course has now closed for bookings for the 2022/23 year. If you would like to join the next course starting in Autumn 2023 please register your interest to be the first to hear when it opens for booking, usually a few months in advance.

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 (subject to the relevant 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 current course will run on the following dates:

SessionsDateStart timeEnd time
Session 1/58 October 2022 (in person)9am4pm
Session 2/519 November 2022 (online)9am1.30pm
Session 3/514 January 2023 (online)9am1.30pm
Session 4/511 March 2023 (online)9am1.30pm
Session 5/520 May 2023 (in-person)9am1.30pm

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.

For the online sessions, 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 a laptop or desktop PC for the best experience. Some devices provided by employers may have restrictions in place. Please use this Zoom test link to check your set up before booking.

You will be sent the necessary login link about a week before the course start date. Should you have any concerns about the accessibility of remote delivery please contact us to discuss how we can best help you.

The course is informed by the integration of theory, research and practice-based evidence on supervision. It aims to ensure you understand the importance of ethical and anti-discriminatory supervision across your 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  you will bring material from your own work context 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 your capacity to promote equity, inclusion and belonging within supervision. 

Developmental tasks

At the end of days one to four, a task pertaining to developing supervisory competence is discussed and you will be expected to apply your learning in your work context and bring back the experience of doing so for small group reflection and feedback.

Practice of group supervision

We have included a fifth day on the practice of group supervision, based on the high demand from previous participants for input on providing supervision to groups.

Library membership

Included in your course fee, you will receive online membership to 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 available for your use (charges apply for printing and copying), as well as various online resources including audio/video playlists.


“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!”
“It was thoughtful, respectful, provocative, restorative.”
“I found the course inspiring. There was a wealth of experience in the attendees, and I have learned so much from them.”


British Psychological Society (BPS) approved logo

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

Course facilitators

Register your interest

Bookings are now closed. Register your interest to join our waiting list and be the first to hear when this course reopens.

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