Emotional Literacy Support Assistants

Emotional Literacy Support Assistants

Information about Emotional Literacy Support Assistant intervention and list of registered schools

Emotional Literacy Support Assistant 

An Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) is a trained, school based learning support assistant. Their role is to support the emotional wellbeing of pupils.  They are trained by a team of  Educational Psychologists and receive ongoing group supervision. 

Who ELSAs work with

ELSAs work with children and young people either individually or in small groups and deliver bespoke interventions tailored to the presenting situation or need.  The role of the ELSA is to develop children and young people’s:

  • emotional literacy
  • positive mental health, 
  • social skills 
  • emotional wellbeing.  

The role of an ELSA can vary dependent on age, school stage and situation.  

ELSA training 

All ELSAs have 6 days of initial training covering:

  • emotional literacy including building resilience and self-esteem
  • managing emotions including anger and anxiety
  • social and friendship skills
  • loss, bereavement and family break up

As well as skills development in:

  • social and therapeutic stories
  • motivational interviewing
  • active listening, conversation skills

ELSAs attend ongoing group supervision (6 times a year,) to safeguard practice and develop their skills. provide continued further skills development.

Schools with an ELSA

These schools have an ELSA:

  • Blaise Primary
  • Bridge Farm
  • Bristol Free School
  • Broomhill Infants
  • Cabot Primary
  • Cathedral Primary
  • Chester Park Infant School
  • Cotham
  • Fairfield
  • Fonthill Primary
  • Hillcrest
  • Holy Cross
  • Knowle DGE
  • May Park Primary School
  • New Fosseway
  • Notton House
  • Oasis Academy Brislington
  • Oasis Academy Connaught
  • Oasis Academy Marksbury Road
  • Oasis Academy New Oak
  • Our Lady of the Rosary
  • St Bedes
  • St George
  • St Johns C.E.V.C
  • St Mary Redcliff Secondary
  • St Nicholas of Tolentine
  • St Werburghs Primary
  • Sea Mills Primary
  • Southville Primary
  • Two Mile Hill Primary
  • Upper Horfield Community Primary
  • Westbury Park

Evidence base

There is an increasing evidence base for the effectiveness of ELSA with outcomes relating to: 

  • staff and student self-efficacy beliefs
  • emotional literacy development 
  •  emotional wellbeing
  • academic progress 
  • parental engagement 

Further information about ELSA including details of research can be found at on the ELSA network website .

For more information or to express an interest in having an ELSA at your school email