The Educational Psychology Service in Sutton began their programme of ELSA training in 2010. The course has been extended to consist of 6 days of training over the Autumn and Spring Term, followed by case work supervision from the Summer Term onwards. Accreditation as an ELSA will depend on full attendance during the course and participation in supervision with an educational psychologist. The topics that are covered over the 6 days include:
Active listening and communication skills
Social skills training (including working with puppets)
An introduction to autism
Loss and bereavement
Supporting children through family break-up
Good practice guidelines
By July 2013 Sutton will have approximately 90 ELSAs working in their schools, including both primary and secondary phase. The training has taken place in collaboration with Merton Educational Psychology Service. Working together with Merton has provided the opportunity to share resources, good practice and bring together a wide range of experiences across the boroughs. Feedback from ELSAs, schools and parents has been overwhelmingly positive, and both Sutton and Merton Educational Psychology Services are committed to supporting the ELSAs with training, supervision and development of resources.
In December 2012 we arranged a 'Resource Fayre'. We invited all ELSAs to bring with them their favourite and their most useful resources to show their colleagues. This allowed them to meet in an informal situation to talk about ther role and share resource ideas. It proved enjoyable and beneficial for the ELSAs and we plan to repeat the event. It is also our intention to run a workshop supporting ELSAs to develop their practice through evaluating the impact of their intervention programmes, drawing upon good practice across both boroughs.