Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA) Project

After a successful pilot project in 2021, the Ealing Educational Psychology Service is now running the ELSA project once a year, with the 6-days of training for the ELSAs starting every Autumn term.

This project is being run in over 68 local authorities and is a recognised evidence-based approach to supporting low level mental health and wellbeing (SEMH) needs in school, in many cases preventing difficulties from escalating.

It is unique in that not only does it offer comprehensive training, but also ongoing supervision and support from an educational psychologist, ensuring that the ELSA continues to develop their skills and remains current in their practise.

ELSA training focuses on self-esteem, friendship skills, resilience, managing emotions and bereavement and ELSAs can start assessing, planning and delivering interventions while completing the training.

We know children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are met, and that when children’s emotional and cognitive energy is focused on their personal and interpersonal difficulties, their capacity to concentrate on learning new information and skills is reduced.

Therefore, by training up a TA, who is already a member of the school staff, and already understands the school context, to become an ELSA and deliver interventions, the evidence shows that pupils receiving intervention:

  • have increased learning success and engagement
  • feel supported by being listened to and having ‘special time’
  • develop greater self-awareness and coping strategies
  • can build more positive relationships with peers and others
  • learn to talk about their difficulties

If you are interested in knowing more about how your school can be part of this project, please contact Philippa Le Roux by email at PLeRoux@ealing.gov.uk.

  • Educational psychology service administrator, Educational psychology service: EPSAdmin@ealing.gov.uk020 8825 5050
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Last updated: 31 Aug 2023

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