Why ELSA at Bedelsford?
Research shows that children and young people with learning disabilities are:
- 4 times more likely to have an emotional disorder
- 7 times more likely to have a depressive disorder.
There is a higher risk with those with greater support needs, particularly if they are unable to communicate their feelings or communicate their distress. Having a learning disability is also likely to reduce a child’s capacity for finding creative and adaptive solutions to life’s challenges. All of these factors are known to have a negative impact on mental health, putting young people with learning disabilities at greater risk of developing mental health problems.
As part of Bedelsford’s school development plan, under the priority of personal development, behaviour and welfare, ELSA will contribute for the school’s achievements in relation to the areas mentioned above, aiming to support our students individually in their needs through the development of Emotional Literacy and Support Team in the school.
How does ELSA will work at Bedelsford?
At Bedelsford, ELSA will help children and young people with great support needs learn to understand their emotions and respect the feelings around them. A limited number of students will be referred by teachers at this stage. Students will be encouraged to engage on a 1 to 1, half an hour session. The element of confidentiality, between those involved in the session is crucial.
The priorities for an individual pupil will be identified in discussion with other staff in the school. With the programme aims in mind the ELSA will plan support sessions to facilitate the pupil in developing new skills and coping strategies that allow them to manage social and emotional demands more effectively. Each session has its own objective (either something the ELSA wants to achieve or something for the pupil to achieve) that builds towards the longer term aims.
The ELSA isn’t there to “fix” the child and it is not to be confused with behaviour management.
It is important to remember that: “Change is a long-term process that needs everyone’s help.”