What is an ELSA?
An ELSA is a specialist teaching assistant with a wealth of experience of working with children to aid emotional or social difficulties. ELSAs are trained and regularly supervised by the Educational Psychologists in your local education authority. An ELSA is a warm and caring person who wants to help your child feel happy and safe in school and to reach their potential educationally. The ELSA programme recognises that children learn better and are happier if their emotional needs are addressed.
ELSAs can help with
Loss, bereavement and family separation
Understanding and regulating emotions
ELSAs plan sessions for individuals and groups.
A typical problem- a very angry child. The ELSA will take the child through an anger management intervention to help them recognise their anger triggers, techniques to avoid those triggers and calming down techniques.
A loved pet has died. ELSAs are trained in bereavement and understand that the loss of a pet is probably the first experience of death for your child. They will work with your child to help them feel supported in school.
Supporting not fixing.
Please remember that ELSAs are not there to fix children’s problems. What we can do is provide emotional support and equip them with some skills to manage social and emotional demands more effectively. We aim to establish a warm, respectful relationship with a pupil and to provide a reflective space where they are able to share their thoughts and feelings honestly. It is important to understand that change cannot be achieved rapidly and is dependent on the context and complexity of a child’s issues. Some concerns may require more specialist support.