What does ELSA stand for? 

Emotional Literacy Support Assistant


Why has my child been offered ELSA sessions?

Your child may be offered some ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support) sessions in school for a whole myriad of reasons. The reason for the intervention may be more apparent if there has been loss in the family or if a difficult situation has arisen. Sometimes ELSA support is offered if a child is struggling at school, or if the child requires some social skills training.

Some of the areas that ELSA covers are: Self-Esteem, team building, friendships, social skills, counselling, anger management or understanding emotions. This is not an exhaustive list, there are many social or emotional reasons that your child may be offered specific support. 


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What happens in ELSA sessions?

Your child could be offered 1:1 or group sessions depending on the reason why the support has been offered. The sessions will only ever be lead by a trained ELSA. All Support Assistants are trained through the Educational Psychology service, and have to attend supervision regularly throughout their practice.

Six sessions are initially offered but this is flexible depending on the overall need, and natural running course of the intervention. Parents or guardians will always be notified that their child has been referred for ELSA, and there will be an opportunity to ask any questions if necessary.

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The Emotional Literacy Support Assistant 

ELSA session should be with the same person, in the same place and whenever possible at the same time. Regular and consistent meetings are key to building a trusted and safe environment for approaching sometimes sensitive and personal subjects.

It is important to remember that ELSA’s are not professional psychologists and although they are highly skilled, they are not trained to deal with complex psychological issues. In these incidences, a referral to an Educational Psychologist is much more appropriate.

Being offered ELSA is a positive experience and it means that your child will be offered 1:1 support form a trained professional. Schools are required to offer emotional and well-being support for all of their students, so your child is likely to be nominated for some intervention during their time at school.

Our new SEND Hub has lots of adaptable and free printable resources, that you can use in ELSA sessions to ensure that activities are interactive, visual and fun. 


Any extra intervention to help your child gain confidence and feel happier in themselves, will inturn increase their learning potential. Each child will have their own learning preferences which will help them access resources and become independent and confident learners. EdPlace has lots of accessibility tools to increase your childs education experience in English, maths and science.


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