Emotional and Literacy Support Assistance


What is ELSA?

ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by educational psychologists, who apply their professional knowledge of children’s social and emotional development to areas of need experienced by pupils. They provide on-going professional supervision to help maintain high quality in the work undertaken by ELSAs, thereby helping to ensure safe practice for ELSAs and pupils alike.

The role of ELSA

The role of ELSA is to support the emotional wellbeing of pupils. ELSA staff are trained by a team of Educational Psychologists and receive ongoing group supervision.

ELSA sessions

ELSA sessions have the primary purpose of creating a safe and welcoming place for a child to open up and develop. ELSA programmes are intended to be designed for each of the pupil’s specific needs.

When the intention is to develop social or friendship skills, group work is likely to be implemented.

Some of the areas that ELSA covers are: Self-Esteem, team building, friendships, social skills, anger management and/ or understanding emotions. This is not an exhaustive list, there are many social or emotional reasons that pupils may be offered specific support.

ELSA work is delivered in 2 formats at Jigsaw School:

  1. Classroom observations by a trained ELSA followed by written recommendations that can be embedded within the pupil’s curriculum
  2. 6-weekly block of direct sessions with a trained ELSA.

Who are the ELSA team at Jigsaw School?

  •             Edi Middleton (ABA Consultant)
  •             Vicky Lumsden (Educational Visits & Operations Coordinator)
  •             Meredith Wightman (Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead)

How are pupils referred for ELSA?

School staff refer pupils to the ELSA team. Recommendations for a referral may also come from a parent or another professional working with the pupil (e.g. Social Worker).