Tommy MacKay is a leading educational psychologist, with around 100 publications in this area alone.
He has played a key role in the development of the profession at national level, and has worked to support services in every part of the UK and also in the Republic of Ireland. In particular he has written many of the key documents that have defined the development of educational psychology in Scotland.
In 1989 he proposed the five key functions of the profession – consultation, assessment, intervention, training and research – operating at the three levels of the individual child or family, the school or establishment and the strategic level of the education authority or Council. These functions were endorsed by the Scottish Government in 1999 and in 2002 became the official functions currently required of all Scottish services.
In 1999, at the request of the Scottish Government he produced the national performance indicators for educational psychology services, these being the first to be published by any country in the world.
In 2002 the Scottish Government commissioned him to be consultant to the national review of educational psychology services, and to be principal author of its report which, along with the statutory provisions of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, defines the basis on which the profession operates at the present time.
In 2006 he was again commissioned by the Scottish Government to evaluate the development of post-school psychological services, on the basis of which Scotland became the first country to have a requirement to provide educational psychology services to the population in the 18-25 age range.
Tommy MacKay featured in the list of the ‘Top 10 UK Educational Psychologists’ published by The Independent, and in 2001 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Glasgow for his ‘significant contribution to educational psychology’.