About the Education Welfare Service
A guide for families
This web page explains what the Education Welfare
Service does and how we can work with you to support your child's
The Education Welfare Service has a legal
responsibility to monitor school attendance and consider court
action against parents whose children do not attend school
We also have responsibilities to do with:
- Protecting children from abuse and danger.
- Protecting children in employment.
- Licensing children in entertainment, modelling
Your responsibility is to make sure that your child
receives an effective education. You can do this by registering
your child at a school and making sure they attend regularly.
You are allowed to make other arrangements for your child's
education but these must be approved by the Local Education
How we work
You can refer yourself and your child to us if you are
having difficulty in making sure your child attends school
regularly. Schools refer children and their families to us when
they are concerned about their attendance.
Other agencies such as health, social services and the police can
also refer families to us.
Education Welfare Officers check school attendance registers
regularly. They will usually discuss your child's circumstances
with the Headteacher or a Senior Teacher if your child's attendance
is not satisfactory.
What can be expected of us
- Listen and work in an open, honest and
respectful way with parents
- Work to support children's school
- Support parents if they wish to visit their
child's school to sort out any difficulties
- Include parents as much as possible in
discussions and decisions about their child's education
- Share information with schools and other
professionals if we believe it is in the child's best interest,
unless we are specifically asked by the parent not to do so. Child
protection concerns will always be shared
- Keep a written record of our contact with
parents. What we write down will be factually correct and relevant.
Parents have a right to see the records. Please be aware that, if
we have to take legal action against you, what you say to us may be
used in court proceedings.
When other professionals contact us about your child,
we will assume that they have told you that they are doing so. If
your child is absent from school through illness and we need to
contact your doctor for an explanation, we will ask you to sign a
consent form before we contact the doctor.
What we will expect from you
We will expect you:
- To work with us to improve your child's
- To tell us what is concerning you, what you
think is wrong and what you think might help to solve the
- To tell us if you are not happy with what is
happening or if you do not understand it, so we can try to answer
your questions or concerns.
We are committed to providing equal support to
families regardless of race, culture, religion, social background
or disability. We send questionnaires to families so that we can
find out how well we are doing and to make sure we offer a high
standard of service.
If you have a complaint please discuss it with the Education
Welfare Officer involved. If this does not resolve the difficulty,
write to Principal Education Welfare officer at: Bedford Borough
Council, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford MK42
Where can you contact us?
Some Education Welfare Officers are based in school,
whilst others are based at Borough Hall. Please contact your
child's school for the telephone number of your Education Welfare
Officer. Alternatively, contact should be made with the Education
Welfare Office at Borough Hall.
Welfare Service - Information for parents and
carers (pdf document opens in new window)
Welfare Service - School Attendance - Guidance on
Prosecutions (pdf document opens in new
Notices (pdf document opens in new window)
information, please visit the Child Performance