Education Welfare Officer

Local government education welfare officers work with schools, children, their parents/carers and other agencies to ensure that children are able to benefit fully from all the educational opportunities available to them.  They have particular responsibility for promoting regular school attendance, dealing with absenteeism and working with those children who are at risk of exclusion.  

Work Environment
Most local government education welfare officers are office-based, but spend quite a bit of time visiting schools, or meeting children and their families in their homes.
They normally work a standard 37 hour week but may be required to make some visits in the evenings.

Daily Activities
The education welfare service in a local council has responsibility for promoting regular school attendance and assisting with any problems that may lead to a young person not attending school.  The education welfare service is also responsible for ensuring that the local council's statutory duties in relation to school attendance, child protection and school exclusions are carried out properly.  Local government education welfare officers have a range of tasks to perform, which may include some or all of the following:

  • making consultation visits to schools in order to identify children with attendance difficulties and agreeing action to be taken by the school and the education welfare service;
  • taking on case work, in order to work closely with children, their parents/carers and the school in order to improve individuals' school attendance;
  • writing up case work and reports accurately;
  • providing advice, guidance and training to school staff on education welfare related issues such as attendance, exclusion, bullying and improving communications with parents/carers;
  • providing advice and guidance to school staff on child protection matters;
  • providing advice and guidance to school staff and governors on exclusions;
  • undertaking regular inspections of attendance registers;
  • providing a range of support and advice for children and their families, such as individual pupil support, group work for pupils and support groups for parents/carers;
  • working in partnership with other council departments and outside agencies and making referrals to other appropriate services.

Skills & Interests
Local government education welfare officers need:

  • excellent communicator skills in order to build positive relationships with children, parents/carers and school staff;
  • tact, diplomacy and sensitivity;
  • an ability to analyse situations and behaviour accurately;
  • good time management skills;
  • good report writing skills;
  • commitment to children's welfare and education.

Entry Requirements
Entry requirements may vary slightly from council to council, but most employers will ask for a good standard of education including at least 5 GCSEs/S-Grades (A-C/1-3) and 2 A-levels or equivalent.  A relevant professional qualification such as a diploma or degree in social work or education welfare, a teaching qualification, or other qualification, such as counselling or youth work may also be required.  Most local councils will also ask for relevant experience of working with children and families.

Future Prospects & Opportunities
It may be possible to progress to managerial positions within the local council education welfare service or wider education department.  With appropriate training and experience it might be possible to specialise in particular areas of education such as special needs.  Alternatively, work may be found within children's services in social or youth work.

Further Information & Services
British Association of Social Workers
Care Council for Wales
Community Care
Community Service Volunteers
Department of Health
Education jobs
General Teaching Council for Wales
Graduate Teacher Training Registry
Health & Care Professions Council
Homes & Communities Agency
Skills for Care
Social Care Association
Teacher Training & Education in Wales

You may find further information about this area of work through Careers Wales ( or in your local library, careers office or school careers library.

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