The Education Welfare Service (EWS) provides support and advice for schools, pupils, parents and other agencies on problems relating to school attendance and issues that may prevent a child from attending school or accessing education. The EWS has a responsibility to ensure children receive an appropriate education and will remind parents/carers of their legal responsibilities and process legal action if necessary.
The EWS is integral to our Integrated Early Support (IES) service. The IES service intervenes in a joined up way at the earliest possible stage to tackle problems emerging for children, young people and families, or with a population most at risk of developing problems.
Integrated Early Support is designed to provide help to families with complex and multiple needs. The service vision has been developed with those children, young people and their families in mind and will be achieved by working with colleagues and partners through our mutli- agency teams across the localities.
EWS supports the IES ethos. The core EWS purpose is to work with schools, pupils and their parents/carers to improve school attendance as early as possible. Education Welfare Officers (EWOs) work in partnership with schools offering a range of skills to involve parents to support our early intervention strategy.
Schools in Cheshire West and Chester have a linked EWO whilst academies are offered a range of service levels through buy-back, which could include a linked EWO.
Should early support not prove effective, statutory intervention may be necessary to safeguard a child’s education. Our welfare officers are able to offer services to provide seamless support.
Schools and academies using the statutory services of the EWS are assured of quality casework by experienced Local Authority Education Welfare Officers (LA EWOs). All practitioners are trained to undertake thorough assessments, able to identify and appropriately refer safeguarding concerns, provide specialist advice and use a solution focused approach. Practitioners work within the IES team where good practice is shared to provide consistency throughout Cheshire West and Chester.
As managers responsible for children and families in the Local Authority we are fully committed to closely monitoring service delivery and always appreciate feedback from schools and academies.