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More than 20 years of evidence based ELSA research shows that children, young people, educational communities, and families have consistently benefitted from the support provided by ELSAs. At this time, we are acutely aware of some of the difficulties and adversities that children and young people face and continue to face in a post pandemic era. Gaining and maintaining a sense of wellbeing and experiencing positive mental health is what all of our children and young people deserve. Having trained and registered Excellent ELSAs means that we can therapeutically support and meet the emotional, social, and wellbeing needs of our children and young people from within our own educational communities.

The skills that ELSAs bring are to individually support children and young people through bespoke intervention to enable overcoming life's challenges, to support their wellbeing, to provide relational care, build resilience, and to help children and young people develop the skills they need that promote emotional, social, and psychological growth and resilience. Because our children and young people already know the ELSAs in their school, it is easier for them to establish trust, connection, and for us to attune to and respond to their needs.


Dr. Dawn Bradley independently invested in and introduced ELSA to Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent in 2017, and has been training ELSAs since 2018. At its inception, schools and educational communities had not heard of ELSA, or it's benefits and this was innovative at the time. We also hosted the first ever regional conference for ELSAs in Staffordshire, 'At the Heart of Wellness'. We continue to push forward for the best possible support for children and young people and the training we now offer has evolved from the minimum ELSA training offer, to specialising in training and supervising 'Excellent ELSA' practitioners.


We remain committed to providing a focused, professional and intensive training experience that equips practitioners with the skills and knowledge they need to work therapeutically with children and young people in schools. The impact of this training is reflected in the consistently positive feedback we receive from our trainees, school leaders, and the quality marks awarded to us by the national ELSA network over the past three years with whom we remain registered.


During training, trainees will lean heavily into understanding and providing therapeutic support, the therapeutic relationship, and teaching practitioners how to provide and maintain psychological safety in their practice. You will learn how to help children and young people make meaning and sense of big feelings such as stress, anxiety, threat, distress, worries and fears, and how to interpret coping and survival responses, adaptive and functional behaviours, whilst working towards the growth of children and young people's personal strengths, positive self-attributions, optimism and hope, through relational interactions based on empathy and creative, playful curiosity.

We are passionate about the wellbeing of children and young people, and particularly our must vulnerable populations. This is why our training content is informed by cutting-edge research and evidence-based practices. Our trainers are available to provide ongoing support during and after training, including supervision from the moment you start training to the end of the first year and which is included in the training cost.

Dr. Bradley is a highly regarded member of the national ELSA steering group and serves as Summit's Excellent ELSA training lead for Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Cheshire, and the surrounding areas. She and her team of experienced, knowledgeable trainers, who are also specialist SEMH Child and Educational Psychologists and some of whom are also practicing therapists, are dedicated to supporting you in your training journey.

With five years of experience and a growing ELSA community of practitioners, we continue to set the bar for Excellence in ELSA training and supervision. Visit our Accredited Directory of schools with registered Excellent ELSAs and to see the educational communities we have helped to cultivate and who continue to thrive through our training and supervision. Please note that this offer is for Excellent ELSA training and supervision and is not to be confused with other versions of ELSA training.


100% of Line Managers, Headteachers, and SLT surveyed between 2021 - 2022 said they would recommend Summit Psychology Services Excellent ELSA Practitioner training and ELSA Supervision to other educational communities seeking training and supervision.

"I would recommend this (Summit) course without hesitation, in fact I would advise that every school should have at least one ELSA. As a headteacher, who values the importance of wellbeing above anything I feel proud that my school offers such great emotional support to our children; SOMETHING THAT WOULDN'T BE AS TARGETED WITHOUT THIS TRAINING."


The Excellent ELSA training provided by Summit Psychology Services is a minimum of 6 days nationally accredited and quality marked training that teaches and supports teaching assistants to develop the emotional literacy, wellbeing, and overall resilience of children and young people. Those seeking more advanced and complimentary knowledge and skills may also choose to add Attachment and Trauma Informed ELSA Practitioners, and Emotion Coaching ELSAs to their training, up to a maximum of eight days. 

Delivery of training is based on the psychology of learning and is scheduled to allow trainee Excellent ELSAs the opportunity to apply in practice the skills and knowledge acquired from each training day. It is therefore not delivered as a block of training. Excellent ELSA is ordinarily spaced to run over a six month period and includes supervision whilst practising. Supervision during training is usually scheduled at approximately six weekly intervals to support individuals in their practice as knowledge and skills grow. The core training content very broadly covers the following, but for further details of our extensive curriculum content, please contact us directly.

  • Attachment Aware and Trauma Informed Excellent ELSA Practitioners: Accredited  - Optional

  • Excellent ELSA Therapeutic Practice and Meeting National Standards: Introduction - Core

  • Building Resilience and Self-Esteem: Part 1 - Core

  • Building Resilience and Self-Esteem: Part 2 - Core

  • Social Inclusion and The Need to Belong - Core

  • Introducing Counselling Skills, Loss, Separation, and Bereavement - Core

  • Therapeutic Story Work and the Therapeutic use of Puppets - Core

  • Emotion Coaching ELSAs: Accredited - Optional


During Training Excellent ELSAs will:

  • Carry out weekly timetabled sessions with individual children and young people within the limits of their competency and in accordance with the stage of training, and mastery of knowledge and skills.

  • As a minimum, Excellent ELSAs will need to be planning and providing support for a minimum of 5 hours each week.

  • Develop bespoke programmes of support that are matched specifically to the individual needs of children and young people.

  • Monitor interventions using appropriate tools for evaluating the impact and efficacy of the support provided.

  • Share ideas with staff in the educational community to generalise skills about how best to support children and young people.

After Training Excellent ELSAs and Educational Communities need to:

  • Pledge their ongoing commitment and continue to provide the support of an Excellent ELSA line manager who will meet every six weeks with the Excellent ELSA.

  • To retain accreditation, meet the standards and to use the role title of Excellent ELSA, educational communities must release the registered Excellent ELSA for six sessions of supervision over the academic year, and on the dates scheduled.

  • Commit to utilising an annual audit tool to ensure national standards and practice guidelines are being followed.


Summit believes in modelling and practising what we teach. Our training places for each location are therefore purposefully limited so that we get to know each trainee personally. This training goes beyond course content and is concerned with the trainee's personal and professional development, and each person's evolution as an Excellent ELSA. Learning how to be an ELSA is more than what can be taught in a training day. We therefore believe strongly in, and invest in, interpersonal relationships, team, community, peer development, learning, and peer support. See our 2022 evaluation here.

"This ELSA training is so much more than a course. The children that I have worked with have benefitted from the knowledge and skills that I have gained and continue to gain as a result of supervision and a network of people who all support each other."

"Fabulous opportunity to learn from friendly and welcoming professionals with a wealth of knowledge. The course is intense but definitely worth it, with excellent support and supervision offered throughout your time as an ELSA."


The training is intensive, and all Excellent ELSA trainees must have the support and commitment of their SLT and wider educational communities both during and after training. Before registering an Excellent ELSA for training, educational communities must make a commitment to supporting trainees and will need to agree to embedding support systemically across the setting, including implementing a decision making system for identifying needs and support, providing a safe and confidential space to work, and to ensuring that Excellent ELSAs are timetabled in their role for a minimum of five hours per week, in line with the National Practice Standards.


Schools also need a clear commitment to appointing an Excellent ELSA line manager who will meet with the Excellent ELSA practitioner at least once every six weeks, and more frequently in the initial stages of training and knowledge acquisition. You will also need to commit to releasing each trainee for each day of training and for each session of scheduled supervision so that trainees meet the national standards and can become accredited.


All ELSA line managers must attend an introduction to Excellent ELSA to ensure there is a clear and shared understanding of what being an Excellent ELSA practitioner is, and what it is not. For further information and consideration of what support is needed, and who may be best placed to undertake this training journey please contact us with any questions you may have.

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"This ELSA training has helped me to help some of our more vulnerable children cope with the many challenges they have experienced in their lives. The feedback from parents on how successful the sessions have been proves what a valuable tool we are providing in supporting our young people."

"I feel very passionately that the role of an ELSA within schools is something that all schools should adopt, I enjoy my ELSA work and would recommend that anybody considering completing the course to do it, it’s an amazing network of people to become a member of."

in Newcastle-Under-Lyme and Tamworth
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The cost for six in person training days, provided by our dedicated and specialist SEMH psychology training team is £700.00, with additional days at £85.00 each, up to a maximum of £800.00 for all eight days training. This cost also includes supervision during and after training until the end of the academic and training year. All Trainees receive a training file, a wealth of additional and complimentary resources, access to our dedicated resource area hosted online, access to our thriving and supportive peer network and ELSA community, and other free of charge benefits. Training and supervision is hosted either in our own bespoke venue at Summit, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, or with one of our partner venues in Stafford, or Tamworth. Refreshments, treats, and nurture are included.

ELSA Training and Supervision Staffordshire Stoke-on-Trent Summit Psychology Services


in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Stafford, and Tamworth
Click Here to Register

Summit Psychology Services ELSA training Staffordshire Stoke-on-Trent

The cost for continuing supervision is £250.00. Supervision is scheduled approximately six weeks apart and is two hours in duration with groups of no more than eight people. Supervision is hosted in our own bespoke venue at Summit, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, or with one of partner venues in Stafford, or Tamworth. Refreshments are included and all benefits accessed during training remain accessible. Registered ELSAs who can demonstrate they have met training standards can register to be supervised by us.

"ELSA training doesn't stop at the end of the course, I continue to learn from supervision sessions and from every opportunity with Dr Dawn."

"Becoming an ELSA has literally changed my role in school! Because of the nature of ELSA, the supervision, the excellent training etc., I have felt so confident and really embrace the ELSA way in my work life. I believe I have supported children in the most efficient ways possible, I can assess and evaluate my work. This is all down to how ELSA has been delivered and the ongoing ELSA Supervision."


are all highly experienced and specialist practitioner psychologists registered with the HCPC. We work directly with educational communities in our role as Child and Educational psychologists, hold additional specialist qualifications and some of the team are also practising therapists. Our knowledge and ability to support your trainee's with a unique blend of applied psychology, psychotherapy, practice experiences and therapeutic  insights are invaluable for CPD throughout training, and beyond. As practitioners and trainees continue with Excellent ELSA supervision, it is also good to know that Summit supervisors are also registered as applied practice supervisors with the British Psychological Society.

At the beginning of training, the majority of trainees reported that their level of skill and knowledge could be considered satisfactory. After training was completed, the majority of trainees indicated that their levels of skill and knowledge could be considered excellent. A high percentage of trainees also self-evaluated that the contribution of training to their overall ELSA knowledge could be considered to be exceeding expectations.

Summit Psychology Services Excellent ELSA Training Staffordshire Stoke-on-Trent

“I feel very passionately that the role of an ELSA within schools is something that all schools should adopt, I enjoy my ELSA work and would recommend that anybody considering completing the course to do it with Summit, it’s an amazing network of people to become a member of.”

“I honestly can’t fault the training, it’s thorough, it’s incredible, interesting, and insightful. You learn about yourself as well as those we are trying to help. It’s incredibly rewarding when you see that the work you have done with a child has helped them. So many children desperately need help with their emotional needs and this programme offers help and support for those who need it.”

“The experience, and training days are invaluable. Each section of training builds upon the previous layer of training. The use of videos, active discussions, and support materials not to mention the wealth of personal and professional experience offered by Dawn Bradley and her team is fantastic. At the end you have an invisible rucksack of resources to support children."

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Excellence in ELSA - Training and Supervision
Nationally Accredited and Quality Assured

Join our Established Excellent ELSA Community Covering Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

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Thank you so much for the fantastic training. It has completely changed my outlook. I have learned so much, and reflect so much more on what I say and do.

Dawn is so knowledagable and I love that we stay connected after training.



All of the sessions are packed full of useful information and skills to take away. Thank you for a great course.


I wanted to say thank you for this training. The skills and knowledge our ELSA now has have been invaluable in these difficult times. We are much better equippped to emotionally support our children and at a time when they most need it.



This course was amazing.

Dawn is such an inspiration.

It has already had such a positive impact for our children.


What a brilliant course!

I couldn't wait to come back every month to learn more; and I love supervision, it's so helpful to share ideas and talk



Each one of us in the ELSA community is very much valued. Our strengths are nurtured. Dawn has built the ELSA community through collaboration, encouragement, and an empathic and reassuring group of ELSAs has been formed.


After a year, the impact of having a trained ELSA has been clearly evident. We were so impressed with what our ELSA has learned from the training that we are training another ELSA.



It has had such a positive impact in our school. Everyone should have an ELSA.




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