Shropshire Council

ELSA training information for schools

18 January 2019 Last updated at 11:43

The Educational Psychology Service will be offering training to develop an emotional literacy support assistant (ELSA) in your school.

This is an excellent opportunity for schools to build their capacity and confidence in meeting the needs of children and young people with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) difficulties, as encouraged in the 2017 Green Paper on ‘Transforming Young People’s Mental Health Provision’.

The five-day ELSA training in psychological theory and intervention by qualified psychologists enables teaching assistants to plan and deliver individual and small group support programmes in schools to children and young people (4-16 year olds) with social, emotional and mental health needs.

Once trained, and receiving ongoing supervision from a psychologist, ELSAs can help young people with a range of social and emotional needs such as: self-esteem and confidence building, social skills, emotional literacy, friendship issues, anger management, behaviour, anxiety, low mood, loss and bereavement, bullying/conflict and relaxation techniques.

The training is scheduled to start in the second half of the spring term (around end of February/beginning of March 2019). The five days will be spread out so that TAs will need to be out of school for one day per week for five weeks. After this, TAs will then be supported with regular two-hour half-termly group supervision sessions by an educational psychologist to ensure their work is effective and competent. They will also be given an ELSA handbook and given membership to the online ELSA network, full of resources and support.

The five day course and two supervision sessions until the end of the year cost £600, which schools can purchase using their EPS package (it uses roughly 2 – 2½ sessions depending on your school’s package). Yearly supervision thereafter (six sessions a year), which is necessary to maintain accreditation as an ELSA, is £250 (roughly one session from your school’s package). This is excellent value for money that results in having a person in school who can run effective SEMH interventions supported by a qualified psychologist.

Places are limited so please contact the Educational Psychology Service (office email:, office phone: 01743 258414) if you wish to book a place or if you have any questions.