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Support and Supervision for Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs): Gathering ELSAs views about the support offered to them

Atkin, Lisa (2019) Support and Supervision for Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs): Gathering ELSAs views about the support offered to them. DEdCPsy thesis, University of Sheffield.

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In this present study I am aiming to gather the views of Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs) regarding the support offered to them within a specific local authority. In addition to this, I aim to find out about additional sources of support ELSAs may be accessing and what support they feel is or would be beneficial. The ELSA programme was developed and trialled in Southampton Educational Psychology Service by Sheila Burton (Weare and Gray, 2003). Since then, the initiative was successfully established in Hampshire (Burton 2004) before being rolled out nationwide. The ELSA programme itself is set up and run by EP Services within a number of local authorities across the UK. They are responsible for providing the initial training which covers emotional awareness, bereavement and loss, self-esteem, friendship, anger management, family breakdown and social communication difficulties (ELSA network, 2017). It is recommended that those who work in the helping professions receive regular professional supervision to support them in their role (Hawkins and Shohet, 2012). Guidelines issued on the ELSA Network advise that ELSAs access supervision from Educational Psychologists in order to use the ELSA title (Osborne 2008). In many authorities implementing the programme, this involves ELSAs attending half-termly group supervision sessions which provide them with opportunities to share resources and engage with problem solving activities relating to their work. For the purpose of this research, ELSAs working in both mainstream Primary and Secondary schools across the authority were invited to take part in the study. Q-Methodology was identified as an appropriate way of gathering the range of views ELSAs have about the support that is available to them. A minimum of 30 participants have been sought to carry out the Q sort comprised of 39 statements. The Q was developed following a focus group carried out with a group of ELSAs and from a critical review of relevant literature about the ELSA programme. Participants were required to arrange the statements on a pre-arranged frequency distribution which ranged from ‘most agree’ to ‘most disagree’. Participants were then invited to discuss their Q sorts. The completed Q sorts were subjected to factor analysis which identified three shared viewpoints. These highlighted the importance of having a robust network of support in place as well as more specifically, support from peers and wellbeing workers. The findings are discussed in relation to the literature and implications for EPs and schools are discussed along with suggestions for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (DEdCPsy)
Keywords: ELSA, Supervision, Q Methodology, Educational Psychologist
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.784720
Depositing User: Mrs Lisa Atkin
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2019 08:08
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 20:08
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24761

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