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Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA)

Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA) is an educational psychology led intervention for promoting the emotional well-being of children and young people.

Participation in the ELSA project involves:

  • A teaching assistant attending 6 full days of training delivered over one term, in emotional literacy and intervention planning (2 half day sessions and 5 full day sessions).
  • Training topics include: raising emotional awareness, building resilience and self-esteem, managing emotions, social and friendship skills, loss and bereavement, using therapeutic and social stories, active listening and reflective conversations.
  • Refreshments are included on each training day. All ELSAs need to attend every training day. The ELSAs line manager needs to attend the second half day session which is delivered online.
  • Two published resources: ‘Emotional Wellbeing: An Introductory Handbook’ and ‘Excellent ELSAs’ as well as full course electronic notes will be provided.
  • A commitment from the school to provide the ELSA with time and space to plan, deliver and evaluate ELSA interventions with individual children and small groups (typically at least one day per week).
  • Access to half-termly group supervision sessions delivered by an Educational Psychologist which is vital to provide ongoing support for the ELSAs emotional literacy work in school. Supervision attendance is a requirement of being an ELSA. The standard ongoing annual cost of supervision is approx £225 for six supervision sessions.

What makes ELSA successful?

  • Careful selection: headteachers selecting a warm, calm, enthusiastic, creative, skilled, independent and empathetic TA to train as an ELSA (please email for further details and person and job specification).
  • Schools that understand the principles of the ELSA programme and are committed to supporting the programme long term through funding ongoing supervision

Please email [email protected] for further information on training.

Last updated 27 April 2022

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