The role of the Education Welfare Service
The primary role of the Education Welfare Service is to provide LA statutory duties in respect of irregular school attendance and child employment. The Education Welfare Service is part of the Access Service area within Walsall Children’s Services – Education.
The service delivers these functions as part of the ‘Core Service’ delivery. The Core Education Welfare Service comprises of the following staff.
- 1 SEWO
- 1 Specialist Advisor Trainer – Attendance
- 3 EWO’s
- 1 Attendance Officer
- YJS Liaison Officer
As part of this core service the EWO’s will take forward cases of irregular school attendance through the legal channels to court. In addition they will advise schools as to how to progress cases of irregular school attendance and prepare evidence so cases may be prepared for legal interventions.
Where schools have purchased a time allocation of an Attendance Officer for additional support, the Attendance Officer will collate this required evidence and there is a smooth hand over to the core EWO for progression.
The Core Officers will also issue Penalty Notices in accordance with Walsall’s Local Codes of Practice.
The service is also responsible for ensuring that employers of children and young people are compliant with legislation and that they are properly licensed to work and perform.
The members of the Education Welfare Service represent Education Services at a number of multi agency forums such as DART and MARAC which support the vulnerable. When asked to, the Officers attending will provide to, or ask for information from schools about cases raised at these meetings.
In addition to the core service, schools can commission additional Education Welfare Service support, to help manage their attendance. This forms part of our Traded Services.
The positions within the traded part of the service are:
- 2 Specialist Advisor Trainers – Attendance
- 10 Full time Attendance Officers
- 5 Part time Attendance Officers
The traded service currently supports 88% of Walsall Schools and provides them with specialist support and an early intervention service.
For the 88% of schools who have traded with the service, there has been an increased overall attendance of 2% during Autumn 2011 compared to Autumn 2010.