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Botley School ELSA

Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA)

What is ELSA?


ELSA's are Emotional Literacy Support Assistants.  They are members of school staff who have had special training from Educational Psychologists.


We are lucky enough to have Emotional Literacy Support Assistants within Botley School who have been trained  to plan and deliver programmes of support to pupils who are experiencing temporary or longer term additional emotional needs.


The majority of ELSA work is delivered on an individual basis, but sometimes small group work is more appropriate, especially in the areas of social and friendship skills. Sessions are fun, we use a range of activities such as: games, role-play with puppets or arts and craft.


ELSA sessions take place in our very own ELSA rooms, which provides a calm, safe space for the child to feel supported and nurtured.



The role title of ELSA may only be taken by someone who:

  • Has attended a full ELSA training course.
  • Regularly attends supervision groups led by educational psychologists.
  • Currently, are developing bespoke programmes to support the emotional needs of children in their school.

Over recent years there has been increased recognition of the impact of social and emotional aspects of learning on academic attainment in schools.  The Children Act 2004 (Every Child Matters) recognised that schools need to be concerned with the all round development of children.


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 greater 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 also addressed.