Request for ELSAs to participate in research

Dear ELSAs,

I am a Trainee Educational Psychologist studying at UCL and I would like to ask if you would be interested in taking part in my thesis research exploring the effectiveness of the ELSA intervention. The aim of this project is to consider how effective the ELSA intervention is at reducing social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in primary school children. I also hope to consider if the relationship between ELSAs and children impacts how effective the intervention is. If you would like to take part it would involve you running your normal ELSA intervention (as you usually would) as well as doing two questionnaires and measuring a target behavioural outcome (set by you) with the child before, during and after the intervention. To consider the interactions between you and the child without intruding on the sessions, I will set up a video call with you via computer before each session, allowing me to record the sessions. During the project any information you provide us with will stay confidential and anonymous and if for any reason you would like to withdraw from the research at any time during or after the project it is your right to do so without reason. The findings from this research will be summarised and sent to all participating ELSAs/schools and will provide a valuable insight into how effective the ELSA intervention is, what evaluation measures best detect these changes and what aspects of the interaction between the ELSA and child impact the effectiveness of successful outcomes.

This study has gained ethical approval. If you wish to participate or to get more detailed information about the study please contact me at – I look forward to hearing from you.


Research invitation to ELSAs

Researchers at the University of Oxford are working on a project to identify children with anxiety difficulties in primary schools and deliver an online parent-led CBT intervention. To ensure that the procedures that have been developed are suitable for parents, children, teachers, they would like to hear from professionals working in the field of child mental health and education (e.g. ELSAs, Eps, SENCO’s, EMHPs) about their views on the project.  It is hoped that the feedback provided will help to meaningfully shape this evidence-based early intervention for children and young people. Taking part would involve an interview with a researcher (approx. 60 mins) by telephone/MS Teams and each participant will receive £20.00 as a thank you for their time. To get involved, please email:


Dr Victoria Williamson

Departments of Experimental Psychology and Psychiatry

University of Oxford

Tel: 01865 618399 / 07490092960

Emotional Wellbeing: an introductory handbook for schools

The second edition of this handbook by Gillian Shotton and Sheila Burton, written primarily for ELSAs, has just gone to print (10 August) and is now expected to be published on 6th September 2018. There is a good deal of new content, reflecting unpublished updates to the original ELSA training that are now widely used by educational psychology services across the UK.

GDPR and ELSA local contacts

The ELSA Network holds contact details of EPs delivering ELSA by request. They are visible to the public in the area directory because you have requested to be contacts for ELSA in your own localities. I also hold an email contact list which replicates this information. You may request at any time that your details be removed from the website and my email list. Unless you make such a request, I will assume that you still wish to receive ELSA Network emails and be visible on the website area directory. The list is never given to third parties.


Hampshire ELSA Conference

There are still a few spaces left at this year’s ELSA conference in Hampshire.

Book at:

ELSA Conference 2018 – ‘Building Resilience’

This conference will support staff in developing their understanding of resilience theory and offer practical advice and strategies which can be used to support both the children and young people ELSAs work with and the ELSAs themselves.

One day conference for trained ELSAs

Presented by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Educational Psychology

Dr Tina Rae – Key Note Speaker

Dr Tina Rae has over 30 years experience working with children, adults and families in both clinical and educational contexts within local authorities and specialist educational services. Tina specialises in social, emotional and behavioural disorders and difficulties.

Psychologists have long recognised that some children develop well despite growing up in high risk environments. This capacity to cope with adversity and even be strengthened by it, is at the heart of resilience. It is not something that people either have or don’t have – resilience is learnable and teachable and as we learn we increase the range of strategies available to us when things get difficult.

This key note will draw on insights from social care, CBT approaches and Positive Psychology, to develop an understanding of how resilience can be applied in work with children and young people.

Afternoon Workshops …..

  1. ‘ELSA skills to build pupil resilience’ – Sheila Burton, Educational Psychologist
  2. ‘Building resilience using Therapeutic Stories’ – Dr Laura Giles, Educational Psychologist
  3. ‘Resilience for Change and Transition’   –  Lorraine Lee, Trainer (
  4. ‘Keeping your bucket stable’ (ELSA wellbeing)’ – Sonia O’Donnell, Headteacher
  5. ‘The Resilience Ball: A Framework for Thinking about Resilience’ – Dr Cath Lowther, Educational Psychologist

Anna Cox