Colville, Tracey


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Dr Tracey Colville is a Lecturer in Educational Psychology in the School of Education, Social and Community Education.  She is currently on a career break from her post as Depute Principal Educational Psychologist in Edinburgh Psychological Services where she stated her career in Educational Psychology in 2005.  Before moving to Dundee, she was Programme Director of the MSc Educational Psychology Programme at Strathclyde University.  She previously held the post of Senior Teaching Fellow on this programme.  Prior to being an Educational Psychologist, she taught primary-aged children (aged 5-12 years) over a period of 13 years in Fife, Edinburgh and East Lothian, holding posts of Class teacher, Senior Teacher, Principal Teacher and Depute Head Teacher.

Dr Colville holds a MA (Hons) degree in Psychology from the University of St. Andrews, a PGCE primary teaching qualification from Moray House College of Education, a MSc in Education from Edinburgh University, a MSc in Educational Psychology from Strathclyde University and a Doctorate in Educational Psychology from Strathclyde University. She is registered as an Educational Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council and she is a registered teacher with the GTCS.  She also holds Chartered Psychologist and Chartered Scientist status with the British Psychological Society and is also an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.  Latterly, she was a member of the Association of Principal Educational Psychologists and its executive. She is a member of the SDEP and is also involved in the SDEP training committee.  She is an assessor for the BPS Scottish Qualification in Educational Psychology Stage 2 and is a registered coordinating supervisor for probationer psychologists (BPS RAPPS register).

 Dr Colville has delivered an extensive range of national and international conference presentations on academic and practice topics. She has delivered two keynote presentations to educational psychologists and senior education professionals in Denmark.  She has published several papers and she is a review editor for Frontiers in Education online journal and has reviewed submissions for the Educational and Child Psychology journal. She has been invited to deliver a range of lectures and seminars in Psychology and Education schools at Edinburgh University, Glasgow University, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Napier University and the University of West Scotland.  Prior to taking up her posts as Programme Director on the MSc Educational Programme at Strathclyde University and her post as lecturer on the MSc Educational Programme at Dundee University she was invited to deliver a range of seminars as guest speaker.

 She is currently a member of the BPS Working Differently group publishing several practitioner/public guidance documents. In January 2021 she was invited to deliver a talk on Activity Theory and New ways of working at the annual BPS Occupational Psychology conference and she contributed to a symposium based on the work of the Working Differently group. She has also engaged with the media.  Current academic research focuses upon Cultural-historical activity theory in educational and work settings and Covid19 related educational research with colleagues.  With a colleague, she will deliver a presentation at the ISPA conference in July, 2021 with a focus on teaching trainee EPs about organisational analysis and change.  She has been invited to deliver two seminars at the national conference for EPs in Denmark in March, 2021 She jointly supervises a PhD candidate and a professional doctorate candidate.

In her work as a Depute Principal Psychologist, she has managed teams of educational psychologists and served as a member of the service management team and local authority strategic teams.  She chaired several multi-agency groups on behalf of the local authority to support assessment and decision-making for children and young people with complex needs.  She was a member of a range of strategic and operational groups working within the five core functions of research, training, consultation, assessment and intervention at the individual, school, authority, national and international levels.  A key focus of her work as an educational psychologist has been the development of strengths-based, child friendly multi-agency meetings using solution focused and narrative approaches, publishing on this work in 2013.  She is currently involved in collaborative work with colleagues in Copenhagen supporting the development of child-friendly meetings in schools there. She co-authored a paper on this work. Her doctoral research focused on the application of activity theory and developmental work research to examine authority processes for the placement of children with special needs in specialist educational provisions.  She is currently a member of a collaborative research project with health colleagues to develop a joint neurodevelopmental assessment pathway for children and young people. 



MSc Educational Psychology Programme


Research Interests

  • Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research in educational contexts
  • Models of disability and inter-professional assessment pathways
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusive practice in education
  • The voice of the child in educational contexts, consulting and research with children
  • Collaborative and partnership working in children’s services
  • Strengths-based approaches to child planning /GIRFEC
  • The EP role in assessment and intervention: children with complex additional support needs
  • Narrative and Solution focused approaches in EP practice
  • Implementation science
  • Research collaboration between practitioner psychologists and academic researchers  


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Master in Science, University of Edinburgh

Bachelor of Science in Psychology, University of St Andrews

Doctor of Educational Psychology, University of Strathclyde

Master in Science, University of Strathclyde

External positions

BPS SDEP training committee member

1 Aug 2020 → …

Member of BPS Working Differently group

20 Apr 2020 → …

BPS Assessor for the Qualification in Educational Psychology (Scotland) Stage 2

2016 → …

BPS Coordinating Supervisor for the Qualification in Educational Psychology (Scotland) Stage 2

2016 → …

Depute Principal Psychologist, City of Edinburgh Council (currently on 2-year career break)

2011 → …


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