Education Welfare Officer

Job Description:

Education welfare officers make sure that children attend school and get the support they need.

Job Category:

What you will do:

In your day-to-day tasks you will:

  • work closely with key staff in schools to identify and resolve attendance problems
  • meet parents and pupils at school or home to explain legal responsibilities
  • help families get benefits for school meals, transport or clothing
  • take necessary action through the magistrates’ court
  • arrange education for pupils who are excluded
  • write case notes and letters to parents
  • update computerised school records
  • handle sensitive information
  • keep to deadlines and targets


You’ll need:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • knowledge of psychology
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • administration & organisational skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become an Education Welfare Officer (EWO) specific  subjects are not typically required, but a strong educational foundation and certain skills are important for pursuing this career. Education Welfare Officers play a crucial role in ensuring the well-being and attendance of students in schools. Here are some considerations:

  1. English Language: Proficiency in English is crucial for effective communication, report writing, and working with students, parents, and school staff.
  2. Mathematics (Maths): Basic math skills are helpful for tasks related to data analysis and record-keeping, such as tracking attendance patterns.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • volunteering
  • applying directly

You could do a degree in social and human sciences, social work or education.

You could gain some of the skills and knowledge needed to get into this role through an Early years lead practitioner or an Early intervention practitioner higher apprenticeship.

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
  • school qualifications will vary from country to country – in the UK, GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths
  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent

You can get experience of working with children, families and young people, which could help when you apply for jobs. Examples include volunteering in schools, mentoring and youth work.

In the UK, you can look for opportunities through organisations like:

  • Volunteering Matters
  • Do It
  • NCVO

Direct Application
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
  • teaching
  • youth and community work

Restrictions and Requirements
You’ll need to:

  • pass enhanced background checks
  • have a full driving licence

Working Hours and Environment:

You could work at a school or from home.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding and you’ll travel often.

Career Path & 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.