ELSA project success for Hounslow

During spring term 2016, Hounslow’s very own Educational Psychologists piloted the ELSA [Emotional Literacy Support Assistants] training.

Published: Thursday, 13th October 2016

During spring term 2016, Hounslow’s very own Educational Psychologists piloted the ELSA [Emotional Literacy Support Assistants] training throughout various Hounslow primary schools.

Emotional literacy fosters the development of the school community and is a valuable part of the school curriculum. It is important to enable schools to provide an educational environment which facilitates emotional as well as academic learning.

Schools have different needs and priorities and ELSA work will develop within individual schools to meet local need. Trained ELSAs support pupils in recognising, understanding and managing their emotions. The intention is that ELSAs will work in schools where there is a whole school ethos of supporting the concept of emotional literacy.

Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) intervention is an individualised (or sometimes group) programme for children with significant social and emotional difficulties. The work is planned around the needs of the individual child.

The feedback from the schools who participated in the successful project highlighted how valuable and beneficial the training was in terms of equipping staff to meet the emotional needs of their most vulnerable children. Adele Coombs, Assistant Head Teacher at Hounslow Town Primary School said “ I had implemented the ELSA programme in my previous school, and having seen the positive impact it had there, wanted to share the good practice in Hounslow schools.

Last academic year, Teaching Assistants were identified and trained as ELSAs. The programme has now been running for approximately a term, and we are already seeing a positive impact in developing the whole child, which is in line with our strong belief and ethos that if a child is to learn effectively, their emotional needs must be met. “

Councillor Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, Hounslow Council, said: “We have a commitment in continuing to improve and maintain all areas of education for our children and young people across the borough. “This project is a big part of that and it will enable us to have highly-trained staff to ensure the emotional needs and priorities for pupils, students and schools are addressed.

We are already seeing a huge positive impact on having these services in place and this can only be good thing. “Every pupil, every school and its community have different needs and the ELSA initiative means we can give everyone as an individual and as a group, just what is required to ensure everyone can enjoy a happy and healthy education while they are growing up.”

The Educational Psychology Service would like to deliver this programme again in the summer term of 2017 to another group of primary schools in the borough. To express an interest in this training or for further information please contact Dawn Collard or Dr Hannah Green at the Educational Psychology Service on 020 8583 4188.