Education Welfare Service
The guidance for attendance at school, makes it important to work together, outlining clear responsibilities for all.
If you have concerns about your child’s attendance, please contact the school initially and ask to meet with them to work together in partnership to enable successful outcomes. The school should be able to discuss and offer some adjustments, in the short term, that will help your child attend regularly. This could be in the form of changes within the school day to accessing external agencies and services that can offer support.
If after this, you have seen no improvement following your contact with the school and would like to discuss the matter further, the EWO can provide help and advice. Please check with your child’s school to see if there is an EWO available.
The Education Welfare Service (EWS) aims to ensure that every child has the opportunity to receive a suitable education and has access to an education in a safe environment.
We carry out a number of statutory functions, particularly in the areas of school attendance and the regulation of provision.
The EWS provides support to schools, pupils and parents to ensure regular attendance and address problems relating to absenteeism. The Service liaises with other agencies and provides an important link between home and school helping parents and teachers to work in partnership in order that pupils benefit from the educational opportunities available locally.
The EWS acts on behalf of the local authority in enforcing a parent’s duty to provide appropriate education. The main function of the EWS is to improve overall attendance and reduce persistent absence in all schools and alternative education.
This can be achieved by;
- promoting and supporting whole school attendance policies;
- providing advice on proven good practice;
- working together with school staff, pupils, parents and relevant others on programmes designed to improve attendance levels;
- undertaking individual work with pupils;
Legal action to enforce attendance can only be taken by the local authority.
Advice and guidance
The Education Welfare Service (EWS): will provide high-quality professional support to make sure that parents /carers fulfil their statutory obligation to send their child(ren) to school regularly. This advice is given to other professionals within Neath Port Talbot and where required other local authorities to help prevent children becoming missing from education.
This professional support and advice will contribute to the local authority and schools drive for school effectiveness and inclusion of learners.
Monitoring school attendance
We monitor school attendance against government targets and develop strategic policies and procedures in partnership with schools and other agencies to improve performance. Liaising with pupils and their families, schools and other support agencies to address issues leading to individual poor attendance.
What the law says
The Education Act makes it clear that parents must ensure that their child of school age receives regular, full-time and suitable education. For most parents, this is in school. Children must attend the school they are registered in. Only the school can authorise a child’s absence. If a child is not registered or does not attend, Neath Port Talbot Council may take legal action against the parent/carer, if deemed appropriate.
Working collaboratively with schools and other agencies to help reduce youth crime, through the reduction in persistent absence, this may also be undertaken with the Police via ‘truancy patrols’ to help prevent young people most at risk of becoming involved in criminal activities. We also work collaboratively with social services to help with the safeguarding and wellbeing of all pupils and the Neath Port Talbot Youth Service.
Through your school's Education Welfare Officer: