Yearly statistics from the Leeds Clearing House continue to evidence that individuals applying and being accepted onto Clinical Psychology Training courses are not fully representative of the UK population. With the majority of those applying and accepted being from privileged groups.
Due to this chronic underrepresentation, we have formed a Talking to Schools Project Team which aims to increase the awareness of Clinical Psychology as a profession to students from under-represented backgrounds. Currently in its pilot stage, the Talking to Schools project will involve offering a series of presentations to schools in south-west London who self-identify their student population to be from these under-represented groups.
Presentations will focus on mental health, clinical psychology as a career and the importance of diversity and inclusion within the profession. The first pilot presentations will be taking place in November 2021. With the future goal for these presentations to be offered on a yearly basis and incorporated into the leadership unit for 3rd year trainees. The impact of these presentations on student aspirations will be measured and presentations adjusted to the needs of different population groups.
The Talking to Schools project is also being trialled in a number of other Clinical Psychology courses run by London Universities. The Surrey University project team have played a key part in contributing to the development and coordination of this shared agenda. Furthermore, the project has linked in with several research projects to offer students attending the presentations the opportunity to experience clinical psychology research.
The Surrey University Project team is comprised of Ryan Woolhouse; Charlotte Atkin; Sophie Farthing; and Lizzy McManus.