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Education welfare officer School welfare officer, school attendance officer

Education welfare officers ensure that children attend school and get the support they need.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £20,000 to £41,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

Entry requirements vary. Some employers ask for a degree in social work or social sciences. The British Association of Social Workers has information about qualifications.

If you don't have a degree, you may be able to start as an assistant welfare officer. For this you'll need:

  • experience working with children or young people
  • GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths, or equivalent
  • experience of working with or in schools

You could get experience through youth work, mentoring or through Volunteering Matters.

You'll need to pass a background check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent listening skills
  • the ability to use IT to analyse data and write clear and detailed reports
  • excellent accuracy and attention to detail
  • networking skills to work with a range of other agencies
  • the ability to manage your own work and meet deadlines

3. What you'll do

You'll work for a local authority education welfare services department or a group of schools or academies in an area.

Your day-to-day tasks will include:

  • working closely with key staff in schools to identify and resolve attendance problems
  • meeting parents and pupils at school or home to explain legal responsibilities
  • helping families get benefits for school meals, transport or clothing
  • taking necessary action through the magistrates' court
  • arranging education for pupils who are excluded
  • writing case notes and letters to parents
  • handling sensitive information
  • keeping to deadlines and targets

You'll need to understand the law around education and keeping children safe.

4. Salary

Starter: £20,000

Experienced: £25,000 to £32,000

Highly Experienced: £35,000 to £41,000 (team leader and management)

Your salary will depend on your experience and who you work for.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, with some evening work for home visits and parents' evenings.

You'll be based at an office or school, but will spend much of your time travelling to different schools and pupils' homes.

You'll usually need a driving licence.

6. Career path and progression

With experience and training you could become a team leader, senior education welfare officer or a head of service.

You could also train for a career in social services, the probation service, youth work or pastoral care.

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Last updated: 14 September 2017