School welfare officer, school attendance officer
Education welfare officers make sure that children attend school and get the support they need.
Salary range: £21,000 to £40,000
How to become an education welfare officer
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- working towards this role
- applying directly
You could do a degree in social and human sciences, social work or education.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You may be able to work as an assistant welfare officer with a local authority and do training on the job to qualify. For this you’ll usually need:
- experience working with children or young people
- GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent
Volunteering and experience
You can get experience of working with young people, which could help when you apply for jobs. Examples include mentoring and youth work.
You can find opportunities through Volunteering Matters.
You can apply directly to become an education welfare officer if you’ve got relevant experience and qualifications.
Employers usually look for people who have a background in:
- social work
- youth and community work
You’ll find more details about working in education welfare through the education welfare service of your local council.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- knowledge of psychology
- knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
- sensitivity and understanding
- customer service skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to work well with others
- knowledge of English language
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- pass enhanced background checks
- have a full driving licence
What you’ll do
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 could work at a school or from home.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding and you’ll travel often.
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.