Slater Primary School

Together We Believe. Together We Achieve


ELSA (Stands for Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)


Hello and welcome to our school ELSA page we are pleased to be able to share information and ideas with parents about Emotional Literacy. ELSA is a well researched programme of support that is used by schools to support children. We have a qualified ELSA on site, Mr Smith. He has been trained by Educational Psychologists to plan and deliver programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing short or longer term additional emotional needs. We aim to provide support for a wide range of emotional needs:

  • Recognising emotions
  • Self-esteem
  • Social skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Anger management
  • Loss and bereavement


What is ELSA

There will always be children and young people in schools facing life challenges that detract from their ability to engage with learning. Some will require a greater level of support to increase their emotional literacy than others. ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by Educational Psychologists. It recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are met.



Children are usually referred for ELSA support by their class teacher, Senior Leaders, SENDCo or by parents’ request. The ELSA and SENCo meet each other regularly to discuss the referrals and to identify and prioritise which children require the weekly sessions. They then plan support sessions to facilitate the pupil in developing new skills and coping strategies that allow them to manage their social and emotional needs more effectively.


Remember, ELSAs are not there to fix children’s problems. What we can do is provide emotional support. We aim to establish a warm and respectful relationship with a pupil and to provide a reflective space where they are able to share honestly their thoughts and feelings. It needs to be appreciated that change cannot necessarily be achieved rapidly and is dependent upon the context and complexity of the presenting issues. For children with complex or long-term needs it is unrealistic to expect ELSA intervention to resolve all their difficulties, however support will be designed to target specific aspects of a child’s need. Training and development of ELSAs is an ongoing process and they receive regular supervision. In some cases Mrs Wildgoose can also support with external services.