What is ELSA?
The founder of ELSA, Sheila Burton, has her own website, ELSA Network site, where there is lots of information about the ELSA Role, so do also have a look on there.
ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by educational psychologists, who apply their professional knowledge of children’s social and emotional development to areas of need experienced by pupils. They provide on-going professional supervision to help maintain high quality in the work undertaken by ELSAs, thereby helping to ensure safe practice for ELSAs and pupils alike.
An ELSA in a school is an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant. There is a recognised ELSA training course aimed specifically at Teaching Assistants in schools. Examples of things covered on the course are social skills, emotions, bereavement, social stories and therapeutic stories, anger management, self-esteem, counselling skills such as solution focus and friendship.
Who can be an ELSA?
The role title of ELSA may only legitimately be used by people who:
- have attended (or are currently attending) a full ELSA training course delivered by one or more fully qualified educational psychologists (courses lasting a minimum of 5 but more usually 6 days)
- regularly attend half-termly supervision in small groups (with a recommended maximum of 8 ELSAs per group and duration of 2 hours per session), led by a qualified educational psychologist
- are currently delivering bespoke programmes of support to individual pupils and sometimes small groups