Education welfare officer
Social Service & Guidance
Education welfare officers identify, manage and aim to resolve issues that prevent young people from attending school regularly.
They are also known as welfare officers.
Education welfare officers ensure that young people go to school and receive necessary support for this to happen.
Responsibilities may include:
- Close working with schools, students, social services and educational psychologists to identify and resolve issues that prevent good attendance at school eg. Bullying, family problems and specific learning needs
- Responsibility for several schools in a local authority
- Home visits to meet parents/carers to discuss issues and legal responsibilities
- Arrange alternative education for excluded students
- Administrative duties including writing case notes, letters and reports
Personal Qualities and Skills
Key skills for education welfare officers
- Good communication and team-working skills
- Empathy and patience
- Knowledge of relevant issues in education
- Creative approach to problem solving
- Quick thinker and ability to use initiative
- Good time management skills and ability to prioritise
- Knowledge of legal framework regarding child protection issues
- Driving licence useful
Pay And Opportunities
- Local education authorities
- Social Services departments
- Job vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, job boards and specialist recruitment agencies
Qualifications and training required
There are routes into a career as an education welfare office for both university graduates and school leavers.
A common route is after a 3-year degree in social work. Applicants to degree courses need a good mix of GCSEs, including English and Maths, grades A-C. No specific A level subjects are required. For Scottish applicants around four Highers are likely to be required including English/another iterate subject in addition to National 5 Maths. Youth work experience and Health and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) required for some courses.
Advanced level apprenticeships are also available. Entry requirements are usually five GCSEs, including English and Maths, or to have completed an Intermediate level apprenticeship. BTEC Level 3 National qualifications may also be considered.
Make sure you check individual university, college or employer entry qualifications carefully, as specific requirements may differ.