ELSA: Emotional Literacy Support Assistants: Primary

Event/course Code SCH/22/100
Event/course type Emotional wellbeing and mental health / Primary
Event Description WCF EPS are excited to be able to offer ELSA training and supervision for practitioners working in educational settings across Worcestershire.

ELSA stands for Emotional Literacy Support Assistant. ELSAs are school support staff (teaching assistants and/or learning mentors) who have undergone the 'ELSA' programme of training by Educational Psychologists to support the emotional development of children and young people in schools.

The ELSA programme has been widely adopted as an evidence-based early intervention for children and young people in over 100 local authorities in the UK. ELSAs attend training days and group supervision sessions led by the Educational Psychology Service. They will be trained to plan and deliver individualised programmes of support for children to develop their emotional literacy, including:
• Awareness of own and other people's emotions
• Management of stress, grief, anger, and conflict
• Development of social interaction skills
• Promotion of a realistic self-concept and self-esteem

ELSAs will also be able to plan and deliver support to small groups of children to support the development of social and friendship skills. ELSA provision within schools can help lower exclusion rates, promote emotional well-being, and improve academic outcomes.

Since most ELSAs are likely to have had no specific psychological training beyond those insights provided through initial ELSA training, it is essential for them to receive regular on-going support that develops their knowledge and understanding in these areas. Without this they may be left floundering as they seek to support children with a complex range of needs. There is also a risk of them being asked to deal with issues beyond their level of competence which in reality require much more specialist professional input. Therefore, to practice as an ELSA they must receive regular supervision which is provided by an Educational Psychologist. ELSAs are eligible to join supervision sessions from the term after they complete their training. Schools must let us know if their ELSA leaves his/her post to avoid paying the continuous yearly charge. No refunds will be made for supervision if ELSAs leave during the year.

The line-manager or headteacher will be required to join their ELSA(s) for part of Day 1. This requirement is important to help them understand the parameters of the ELSA role and the line-manager’s role in supporting ELSAs.

This course is focussed to Primary / First Schools - if you work in a middle school, please choose the most appropriate course based upon the year group you work with.

Cost: £580 + VAT
Trainers: Educational Psychology Team - exact trainer to be confirmed
Training Objectives The initial training is a mix of psychological theory and application of theory to support children and young people. The training involves tutor demonstration, discussion, activities and homework tasks. Resources to support work as an ELSA are shared. The initial training covers the following areas of emotional literacy:
• Security and relationships
• Active listening
• Emotional competence
• Loss and bereavement
• Building relationships (sense of belonging and circle of friends)
• Using stories in ELSA work (therapeutic and social stories)
• Social and friendship skills
• Lego therapy
• Self-efficacy, self-esteem, motivation, and growth mindset

The school/setting will nominate their LSA(s) (identified as having the necessary prerequisite skills to train as an ELSA, see job specification) who will then be released for the training sessions and for on-going half-termly supervision sessions. A member of the teaching staff should be nominated to line-manage the ELSA(s) to support them with the referral process, setting targets and reviewing the intervention. The line-manager or headteacher will be required to join their ELSA(s) for part of Day 1. This requirement is important to help them understand the parameters of the ELSA role and the line-manager’s role in supporting ELSAs.

The school will also need to release each ELSA for at least the equivalent of one day per week to plan and deliver programmes of support to individual pupils nominated by the school. For very small schools (e.g., 100 pupils or fewer) half a day may be sufficient. The school will need to ensure that their ELSA(s) has access to an appropriate working area to deliver the programme.
Learning Outcomes Since most ELSAs are likely to have had no specific psychological training beyond those insights provided through initial ELSA training, it is essential for them to receive regular on-going support that develops their knowledge and understanding in these areas. Without this they may be left floundering as they seek to support children with a complex range of needs. There is also a risk of them being asked to deal with issues beyond their level of competence which in reality require much more specialist professional input. Therefore, to practice as an ELSA they must receive regular supervision which is provided by an Educational Psychologist. ELSAs are eligible to join supervision sessions from the term after they complete their training. Schools must let us know if their ELSA leaves his/her post to avoid paying the continuous yearly charge. No refunds will be made for supervision if ELSAs leave during the year.

ELSA supervision sessions will be available in February and March 2023 and will be suitable ONLY to those that have attended this course, further information about this will be supplied during your course from the trainer(s). At this point they will confirm dates and when this supervision course can be booked via CPD.
Tutors Educational Psychology Trainers
Subjects Literacy / Teaching Assistants & Support Staff
Key Stages
Early Years / Foundation No KS1 No KS2 No KS3 Yes KS4 Yes KS5 Yes 11-19 Yes 
Event/course administrator Workforce Support (WorkforceSupport@Worcschildrenfirst.org.uk)
Event/course costs Log in to see prices
SessionSession DateSession TimeSession VenueMap
Session 1Thursday 15 September 202209:30 - 15:30Worcestershire Federation of Young Farmers' ClubsMap
Session 2Thursday 6 October 202209:30 - 15:30Worcestershire Federation of Young Farmers' ClubsMap
Session 3Thursday 20 October 202209:30 - 15:30Worcestershire Federation of Young Farmers' ClubsMap
Session 4Thursday 10 November 202209:30 - 15:30Worcestershire Federation of Young Farmers' ClubsMap
Session 5Thursday 24 November 202209:30 - 15:30Worcestershire Federation of Young Farmers' ClubsMap
Session 6Thursday 8 December 202209:30 - 15:30Worcestershire Federation of Young Farmers' ClubsMap
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