ELSAs can improve school attendance!

January 12th, 2024

Yes, they can! Why do I say this? Read on…

ELSAs have an important role in our society because their knowledge and skills help children and young people engage better in lessons and the school environment, which helps improve school attendance and behaviour in school.

An ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) has completed formal training in how to support children and young people’s emotional well-being.

During their training ELSAs learn about the importance of emotional literacy, resilience, emotional regulation, loss/bereavement, trauma and how this can impact learning in young people. ELSAs learn how to plan and deliver a variety of helpful interventions for children and young people who are experiencing additional social, emotional, and mental health needs.

In the current climate and the decline in school attendance, ELSAs have a pivotal role to play in supporting children and young people engage better with school.

In Croydon, the Educational Psychology Service has  trained and supervised 100s of ELSAs over the years and has earned a  reputation for high quality ELSA training and CPD support. The Educational Psychology Service supports a thriving ELSA community in Croydon and can evidence the benefits of the ELSA Programme for children and young people:

  1. Improved emotional intelligence: it helps pupils understand and manage their emotions better which leads to improved self-awareness and interpersonal skills.
  2. Better mental health: the programme can contribute to reducing stress, anxiety, and depression among pupils.
  3. Enhanced social skills: pupils learn to empathise with others, resolve conflicts and build healthier relationships which can lead to a more harmonious school community.
  4. Academic success: emotional literacy can positively impact academic performance by enhancing focus, motivation, and a pupil’s ability to handle challenges.
  5. Reduce bullying: it can help decrease instances of bullying and promote a culture of respect and kindness.
  6. Life skills: emotional literacy equips pupils with essential life skills they can carry into adulthood, improving their overall well-being.
  7. Staff development: it increases staff capacity to meet the needs of the growing number of pupils with SEMH needs.
  8. Teacher support: it can also benefit teachers by providing tools to address emotional needs in the classroom leading to more effective teaching and classroom management.
  9. Parent engagement: schools can involve parents in the ELSA programme and foster collaboration between home/school to support pupils’ emotional development.


Further research and evidence on the ELSA program can be found here


Newly qualified ELSAs have said:

“I would highly recommend this course, it’s informative, it’s a fantastic way of broadening and extending your knowledge on Emotional Literacy” (Recently trained ELSA, June 2023)

“I would recommend this course 100%. Very useful to help our children to cope, develop, learn and have a healthy childhood and education. Thank you!”

Children who have had ELSA sessions have said:

“I find ELSA really helpful when I am talking about my feelings and my worries. Sharing my worries helps me to panic less about my studies.”

“When I am worried about something it makes my head feel cloudy. I have learnt that my worries can feel like a heavy box to carry. If I share my worries with my ELSA, it feels lighter and easier to carry. I don’t feel so anxious.”

My view is that an ELSA working in a school can improve attendance, reduce exclusions, and improve a young person’s readiness for learning.

So, why would n’t you invest in an ELSA?

Want to learn more?

We are running another ELSA course starting on 06/06/24. You can book via the Croydon Educational Partnership website.


Contact ELSA lead Hannah Harvest,

Leave a Reply