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Education Welfare Officer Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Education Welfare Officer. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Education Welfare Officer
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Education Welfare Officer Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Education welfare officers (EWOs), also known as education social workers, deal with young people who have problems with irregular attendance or absence from school. They investigate the reasons behind the absence, which may include problems relating to health, family or bullying, or working illegally. EWOs work with social services to identify and support children involved in child protection procedures. In some cases they may have to prosecute parents whose children persistently stay away from school.

The job involves:

  • helping to arrange alternative education for pupils excluded from school or those unable to attend due to illness
  • helping families receive all the benefits and help they are entitled to, such as free school meals, clothing and help with transport to school
  • improving the links between the school and home - this may involve working closely with parents, teachers, educational psychologists and social services departments, the probation service and the careers service or Connexions service
  • help in making decisions for children with special education needs
  • writing reports and preparing evidence for legal action.

In England, the government has introduced a new service called Connexions, which involves a number of different agencies working together, including education welfare officers, the careers service and youth service. All young people have a personal adviser, who will help them with a range of problems they may be facing. Aspects of EWO work and training could therefore change in the near future.

Hours and Environment

The hours are mainly 9am to 5pm, although there may be work in the evenings visiting parents who may be out during the day, or attending parents evenings.

They have an office base in a local authority or school, but spend most of the time liaising with other professionals and young people and their parents in their own homes.

Skills and Interests

As an education welfare officer you should be able to:

  • establish a rapport with young people
  • listen sensitively and deal with people in a sympathetic and tactful way
  • keep up to date with legislation
  • diagnose problems
  • demonstrate maturity, patience and determination
  • keep accurate records
  • work well both alone and as part of a team
  • drive.


Education welfare officers (EWO) need a combination of educational achievement and experience of working with young people in a relevant setting. They may have had on-the job training, studied for a social work degree or have experience in a related profession like teaching or youth work.

Some EWOs will be qualified social workers, or be working towards qualified status. Degrees usually last three years full-time or three to six years part-time and need to be approved by the General Social Care Council (GSCC). Degrees are available at a number of universities and usually include placements in a social work setting.

For a degree in social work, the minimum entry requirements are five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) and two A levels/three H grades in specified subjects, usually maths and physics or equivalent. For a HND the requirement is four GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) plus one A level/two H grades, or equivalent. For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

Six months to a years paid or voluntary experience of social care is often a prerequisite for entry onto a social work degree.

Graduates in any discipline, or those with equivalent qualifications, can apply for postgraduate training in social work leading to a MA/PGDip in Social Work. Courses normally last two years full-time and include social work placements. Entry is possible with a good first degree and usually a minimum of 12 months work experience.

Employers entry requirements vary. Some people become education welfare officers after training in a related profession such as teaching or youth work. Many education authorities will employ people who do not hold any professional qualifications, but who have relevant experience of working with young people and their families.


Employment based routes are available to EWOs and they may study towards either a social work degree or a Certificate/Diploma in Education Welfare Studies by distance learning. Open learning is normally only possible for people working in a social care environment with the consent and sponsorship of their employer.

In-service training is available to EWOs and could include programmes on child protection, personal safety and equal opportunities.


There are about 4,000 education welfare officers employed in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In England and Wales EWOs are employed by authorities responsible for delivering education.
In Scotland, social work departments are responsible for social work services in education. However, most education authorities employ attendance officers.
In Northern Ireland, this responsibility lies with education and library boards.

There is only a small number of staff employed within each organisation and they may need to move area for promotion.

There may be opportunities to progress to senior posts such as team leader, manager, or senior and principal education welfare officer. Alternatively they specialise, for example in working with children who have special needs.

Another option is to move into related occupations such as social services, youth work, careers advisory work, the probation service or education administration, although some of these would require further training.

Annual Income

The annual income section is intended as a guideline only. Salary levels vary according to the local authority and the geographical region.

Starting salaries are around £14,770.
An experienced EWO earns between £16,200 and £25,000.

Further information

For information about a career in social work, contact or telephone 0845 601 6121.

Social work:
General Social Care Council
Goldings House
2 Hays Lane
Tel: 020 7397 5100

Social care:
TOPSS England *
Albion Court
5 Albion Place
Tel: 0113 245 1716

Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)
Compass House
11 Riverside Drive
Tel: 01382 207101

Care Council for Wales (CCW)
CCW/CGC Information Service
6th Floor West Wing
South Gate House
Wood Street
CF10 1EW
Tel: 029 2022 6257

Northern Ireland:
Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC)
7th Floor
Millennium House
Great Victoria Street
Tel: 028 9041 7600

National Training Organisations (NTOs) ceased to be recognised by the government on 31 March 2002. However, some are continuing to operate in their respective fields. Please contact individual NTOs with queries regarding their current status.

The Secretary of State for Education and Skills is licensing new Sector Skills Councils - charged with boosting skills and productivity in business sectors. For information about Sector Skills Councils, their roles and responsibilities, please visit the Sector Skills Development Agency website:

Other Useful Education Welfare Officer Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Education Welfare Officer job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Education Welfare Officer Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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