Education Welfare Officers, or EWOs are those who dedicate their professional lives to supporting attendance in local schools, sorting out problems in the home to try and help children get the most out of their education.
You’ll spend your days identifying problems with the attendance of certain children in an area, and then doing your best to rectify that situation, by explaining to parents the responsibility they have towards their children – that they need to be educated.
You’d also be involved in helping disadvantaged families get benefits in terms of school means and uniforms, and supporting families who are struggling with education through building links and visiting them at home.
Salary & benefits
Salaries begin at around the £22,000 a year mark but can really be anything up to £30,000 depending on your personal qualifications and experience.
Your location will determine your salary as much as anything else, and in London, you would expect to be on the higher end of this payscale.
The role would be based around a standard 9 to 5, but events such as parents’ evenings or the occasional evening home visit might take place which would throw that out of kilter sometimes.
Whilst you could be based in a single school or an office, looking after a group of schools, the hours would be similar in whatever your specifics.
Entry requirements are varied between different local authorities, but most would accept a good degree qualification, or alternatively, qualifications in relevant subjects such as social and human sciences, or specifically education welfare.
There are other routes in to the the profession too – experience working as a teacher and carrying out social work could get you into an assistant’s role, from where you could progress through experience and hard work.
Training & progression
You’d be given training as part of your induction to the role by your employer, and would be supervised by a colleague to begin with – as part of your own personal and professional development.
If you come into the role from a voluntary perspective rather than an academic one, you might be encouraged to study part time and gain a degree or similar qualification as you work – especially through a provider such as The Open University.