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Improving school attendance - the role of the Education Welfare Service

The Education Welfare Service provides support to schools, parents and young people in providing services on behalf of the Local Education Authority and deals with non-attendance (Truancy), Child Protection and making enquiries about children missing education.

The aim of Education Welfare is for every child to have an equal opportunity to access educational provision and to ensure that parents meet their parental responsibilities under various Education Acts.

Education Welfare Officers

The Education Welfare Officer's aim is to help children attend school full-time and support pupils and parents in resolving issues which may be affecting a child’s wish to attend school.  To bring this about, a plan is agreed in consultation with all the parties involved and the Education Welfare Officer will stay involved until it has been achieved. If the aim is not achieved the Education Welfare Service may have to consider legal proceedings.

All Surrey schools have an allocated Education Welfare Officer to support schools and parents to ensure every child goes to school regularly. Education Welfare Officers can accept referrals or enquiries from schools or other agencies, parents and members of the public if a child is not attending school.

Education welfare officers can provide advice on:

  • resolving attendance problems
  • social and family problems
  • other services and useful resources available.

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What we do - our service offering

We fulfil both statutory and non-statutory functions in relation to compulsory school-aged children and young people. The Surrey Education Welfare Team offers all schools, including academies and free school, a statutory service as follows:

  • Investigation of causes for absence for cases meeting the criteria for legal intervention
  • Case work management for statutory cases
  • Regular consultation with key personnel to report  and plan actions for open cases, including matters relating to safeguarding concerns,  carrying out half-termly register checks and monitoring students whose attendance is below 90%
  • All aspects of legal intervention for school attendance offences
  • Advice and guidance on all matters relating to legislation and processes underpinning school attendance and pupil registration, including registration coding and off roll procedures

In addition, Surrey maintained schools will also be eligible to receive the following services which may be bought back by  academies and free schools:

  • Regular consultation meetings with key personnel to advise on attendance concerns for pupils who do not yet meet the criteria for legal intervention
  • Support and casework for pupils with poor attendance who do not yet meet the criteria for legal intervention
  • Parenting courses and intervention
  • Strategic guidance and support to improve whole school attendance and reduce persistent absence
  • Data analysis
  • Ofsted preparation
  • Bespoke initiatives to improve attendance including attendance panels and late gates
  • Bespoke training for attendance managers, officers and NQTs including INSET days
  • Whole school audit of attendance processes and procedures   
  • Addressing groups of students re attendance – e.g assemblies (MAC Assembly request form PDF), targeted groups, workshops

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Help and contacts

If you need help in ensuring your child attends school regularly please contact the office in whose area your child's school is situated.

North East Education Welfare Team

Epsom and Ewell, Elmbridge, Spelthorne
Telephone: 01372 833588

South East Education Welfare Team

Tandridge, Reigate and Banstead, Mole Valley
Telephone: 01737 737777

South West Education Welfare Team

Waverley and Guildford
Telephone: 01483 517179

North West Education Welfare Team

Woking, Surrey Heath and Runnymede
Telephone: 01483 518130

If you are concerned that a statutory school age child (who lives in Surrey) is missing from education because they may not have a school place and are not receiving suitable alternative education provision, then please let us know by completing a children missing education form.

You can also send us your comments and compliments or complain about our services.

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