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Children and Young People

Education Welfare Service

What do we offer?

Lonely boy


The Education Welfare Service (EWS) works with schools, parents/carers and their children who are experiencing difficulties in attending school.

The Education Welfare Service will support your school in improving and maintaining high levels of school attendance for all pupils leading to increased attainment. Historically the impact of Swindon schools working in partnership with the EWS has resulted in a performance in the top quartile for attendance and low persistent absenteeism rate as shown in the national and regional league tables. 

The EWS sits within the Early Help Teams enabling easy access to other professionals working with families whilst sharing skills and knowledge. A coordinated approach, using the Early Help Record and Plan (E H R &P) and acting as the Lead Professional has been a significant factor in enabling families to take responsibility for improving the attendance of their children, and maximises the effectiveness with regard to safeguarding children and young people.

All schools receive a core offer covering:

  • Tracking of Children Missing from Education (CME)

  • Monitoring of Elective Home Education (EHE)

  • Issuing and monitoring of child work permits

  • Advice on keeping registers

  • Legal case work support leading to Prosecution for non school attendance in the magistrates Court under Section 444 of the Education Act 1966, following a graduated response

  • Automated Fixed Penalty Notice Service.

Why choose us?

  • We are a professional and experienced workforce, with a proven track record of improving poor school attendance

  • A named Education Welfare Officer will be allocated to your school, who receives regular supervision to ensure high standards of professionalism and accountability 

  • We work closely in partnership with schools, children and families, agencies and other services to ensure regular school attendance providing consideration for vulnerable groups and through our Interventions we aim to make a difference before absence becomes entrenched.

All of the following service features are available by purchasing a bespoke service package specifically to meet your schools individual needs:

Service Features:

  • We work closely in partnership with schools, children and families, agencies and other services to ensure regular school attendance
  • Consideration for vulnerable groups
  • We can offer a wealth of knowledge and guidance to schools when introducing strategies to help improve attendance and reduce Persistent Absence
  • Our work is child focussed and we have extensive experience of challenging parental condoned absence.
  • We can offer advice on keeping pupil registers and good practice in regards to attendance, including procedures, LA policies, and current legislation on attendance and related matters
  • We can issue warning letters to parents on behalf of schools for none school attendance
  • We attend pre-arranged meetings with school staff to include: consultation meetings with designated school staff, discussion and advice on a wide range of issues including improving attendance of specific pupils, whole school approach, welfare issues and exclusions advice
  • We deliver a full range of Education Welfare Officer case work including home visits, parent meetings, record keeping, liaison with school staff and other agencies, advice on elective home education
  • Staff are experienced in assessing needs and will use the Early Help Record and Plan to address a wide range of needs, or as part of a graduated response which may lead to a referral to Family Contact Point (FCP), Education Health Care Plans (EHCP) and Education Legal case work
  • The Education Welfare Officer will fully participate in, and act as the Lead professional for team around the child (TAC) cases
  • We produce reports and attend Child Protection Conferences and Core Group Meetings for open cases.

Additional Packages Available:

Supervision for staff: We can offer regular supervision to your Attendance Officers over an academic year, providing advice and guidance to support school actions and strategies on improving school attendance levels.

Standard package: To include 6 termly supervision sessions, including supervision agreement, travel costs, and any resources required.

Bespoke package: We can tailor a package to meet your individual needs.  

Cool Cats: A fun and proven method of motivating young children to improve school attendance. Our Education Welfare Officers will work with either the whole class or designated groups of students from Reception to Year 3 via planned weekly sessions to encourage and promote punctuality and regular attendance, good sleep patterns and routines, identifying why children miss school and working through ways to develop good practices. Utilising a range of tools including puppets, flipcharts and colouring exercises to keep younger pupils engaged, these sessions run over a 5-6 week period.

Please talk to us as we can tailor Cool Cats to meet your needs.

Targeted Year 11 Intervention: Focussed Year 11 attendance intervention led by EWS to support schools and pupils to maintain excellent attendance and improve attainment in the GCSE year.

Through collaborative working, EWS will enable early identification of poor attendance, providing continuous monitoring and focused meetings with parents, student and school.  Regular reviews and ongoing support for pupils, parents and schools is provided to ensure parents remain engaged in supporting strategies to improve school attendance.

Attendance Audits:  We can carry out audits on all areas of school attendance to support schools in ensuring the highest standards of registration practice are maintained.

What is provided free?

All schools and academies are entitled to receive the statutory legal service, which consists of the following:

  • access to support in terms of guidance from Case Discussions through to Court Procedures

  • penalty notices for year 11 students and for all unauthorised holidays

  • legal costs covered by the LA for any legal representation in Court Procedures

  • supporting schools who report children that are missing education (CME).

What is chargeable?

There is a charge for all other services, for all schools and academies.

How the service can be provided/length of agreement

This service will be delivered between 1 September 2020 and 31 August 2021.

Schools are requested to commit to purchasing a number of days to be delivered during the academic year.

Talk to us about your needs and the bespoke packages we are able to offer. 


Contact Point

Caroline Starling, Operational Manager, Early Help Team North
Telephone: 01793 465452

Samantha Chivers, Senior Education Welfare Officer
Telephone: 01793 465778