ELSA was introduced to Wiltshire two years ago and the first ELSAs completed their training in the summer of 2011. In the second year more ELSAs were recruited and there are now 80 practicing ELSAs based in schools across the county.
ELSA training is run by the Educational Psychology Service in collaboration with the Wiltshire Behaviour Support Service. All Specialist Behaviour Support Assistants have completed the ELSA course bringing the total number of registered ELSAs in Wiltshire to over 100.
ELSA training is offered annually with five training days spread across the academic year from October to April. In addition community areas have the option of commissioning ELSA training locally and in areas where this route has been taken all, or almost all, schools have at least one ELSA on the staff.
This year ELSA in Wiltshire will be the focus of a research project conducted by Educational Psychologists in doctoral training at the University of Bristol.
Wiltshire is a large rural county and supervision is hosted by school based ELSAs in groups based on geographical areas. Sessions are led by the Educational Psychologist for the community area and supported by advisory teachers and assistants from the Behaviour Support Service.
Feedback from families, children and school staff has been overwhelmingly positive and there is a strong commitment to expanding and sustaining the ELSA programme within Wiltshire.
New address: County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, Witshire BA14 8JN