We provide education welfare services to all types of schools and academies to improve your overall attendance and punctuality.

11 Questions We Asked Our Client

Client name and contact details are available on request

Role: Attendance Lead and has responsibility for all Pastoral work across the school. The school spends a significant budget on a range of support staff, councillors both on site and off site, family work, off site provision including the SLA the school has agreed with TEAM Education Welfare Services. Everything we do for our girls and their families is about care and support to enable the child to fulfil their full potential and engage with the curriculum and all the other aspects of school life.

1. What were you using before the product / service?

We used the Local Authority’s Education Welfare Service and had a good relationship with our attached Education Welfare Officer. However, the Local Authority offer changed its provision and it didn’t meet our needs.

2. Please summarise three points of frustration you faced

We were happy but needed more time, flexibility and challenge with a small cohort of the school community.

We needed that extra push to improve our attendance further – We didn’t have the flexible approach and dedicated time I and the school required. Sometimes we wanted a home visit and on occasions, this could not be completed. Our attendance has always been good but we wanted to go further.

I needed a responsive service that can understand my school ethos and be on hand when I needed advice or action taken like a home visit or advice on compliance. We are really grateful and really love the updates TEAM EWS provide.

3. What were the top reasons you selected this service?

I sit on the VP (Vulnerable Pupil Panel). I was talking with colleagues about our attendance and some of the concerns that the panel considers and reviews. I was recommended by a fellow panel member who said TEAM EWS has a good reputation and they know their stuff. I asked if I could speak with a colleague to gain a better insight and they suggested I contact another local school as they had been working with TEAM Education Welfare Services for a number of years. I did speak to colleagues in school who were very happy with the support TEAM EWS was offering and particularly the challenge and support and other work they have done with families. The feedback and recommendations were the big reason! I was told “these guys know their stuff” “they are experts in their field and I recommend their services”.

I was very impressed with the pack that we received from TEAM EWS. It had lots of information about the work of the company but also examples of how the Education Welfare Officers have worked with schools and the improvements that have been made. Attendance up and Persistent Absence down!

I remember I took the literature and my recommendations to my Headteacher who was impressed with the feedback and agreed to engage TEAM Education Welfare Services. We are very happy with the service. It feels like you are a member of staff.

4. How easy or hard was it to get started with this service?

I met with the Education Welfare Officer and the Director first and then we arranged our first few visits. It was very easy. The Education Welfare Officer was professional and engaged with my staff in the right way. After we provided a workstation and log in’s for our MIS, the Education Welfare Officer got straight to work reviewing individual attendance and looking at whole school data. He just got on with it and I was not needed to address any issues. At the end of the visits we would meet and I would also be sent an update on cases, issues, and future work. No concerns very happy and pleased!

5. How has it helped you to overcome the challenges you had before?

Our Education Welfare Officer is flexible – He is always at the end of the phone and responds to emails promptly with great advice. I love that I can ask him to contact parents by phone or conduct home visits even when he is not working in the school for me. This flexibility and dedication make a difference to my workload and most importantly to our students and families. We were initially only thinking of having the service for a year but we can’t do without it. The newsletter and updates – brilliant.

6. What is your favourite feature and why?

It has to be flexibility. I love that we can agree together the attendance target for the school and drill down further to look at my vulnerable groups.

Their offer is truly bespoke – I don’t have to work to a set criteria, I can review and request the Education Welfare Officer to work with students below any % attendance and also with my post 16 students.

I also couldn’t be without the on call advice that has been provided to me and our Attendance Officer. Last week our Attendance Officer required support with the return to the DfE and the advice really helped to get the job done.

My EWO has attended school for our Academic Review Days and has met with many families. This important piece of work has really made a difference. Attendance has increased and has built relationships with the families. He is part of the team. He doesn’t just engage with me but with my HOY’s, Attendance Officer and other key staff.

7. Tell me about the most positive experience you’ve had using this service

Our Education Welfare Officer has worked with a small cohort of students who have caused us concern for a while. I have been impressed with the engagement with families which has been for me the right balance. We are caring and engagement is one of the most important tasks we do. We have been impressed that our EWO has had meetings in school and carried out home visits and always provided feedback and action agreed or planned work moving forward.

The EWO has supported us with our complex cases which can sometimes just be advice or to action an agreed piece of work. In particular feeding back thoughts and work undertaken to support referrals to children’s Services or for medical tuition. I am always impressed with the expertise and their knowledge and skills. I have no concerns as our EWO is calm and supportive.

The annual report that is provided received comments from the Headteacher and the governors of the school for the detail and the identified areas that needed to be improved further. The vulnerable groups in particular the pupil premium students have been an area we are all working on to ensure we close the gap.

As a school we use this report and news updates to inform our SEF report. The level of detail and understanding of the issues and most importantly what is required to improve further is always provided. This is a very valuable tool for me and for the agreed actions on our SEF.

TEAM Education Welfare Service were an integral part in our response to the pandemic and our school closing. The telephone / email support was always available. The legislation updates I couldn’t be without! This helped me and the team ensure we were compliant during a time when things were moving and changing every week. The Newsletter we receive which I keep a copy in my room and I do often refer to it is always making me think about our attendance practice.

8. How did it meet your expectations?

We weren’t sure if we would use the service for more than a year but I couldn’t do without them. We spend a lot of money on our pastoral care but TEAM EWS is value for money. It meets our needs. The EWO is the extra voice and does take it off me. Everything they do and with the reports for me and the governors is the cream on the top. Their care for all pupils and families is what makes them different. There robust practice and pursuit of improving attendance further.

Having information that I can feed into the SEF – This is really helpful as it helps inform our decisions.

The reports! the attention to detail. The support TEAM EWS gave me during the pandemic helped me understand my role within the reporting of attendance and compliance during the pandemic. The phone contact and updates I was given to ensure I was safeguarding every student. Our EWO helped with our vulnerable students who were not accessing their remote learning. This was a very valuable piece of work.

9. Have any other departments or stakeholders commented on how this solution has solved challenges/made improvements?

The 6th form have commented on the improvements following a piece of planned work to improve attendance and outcomes for the students. The feedback that the Governors and Headteacher were impressed with our annual report.

10. Do you have advice for other people using this service?

They are the experts and their support to ensure we are compliant with all statutory documents and changes in legislation are second to none. They are truly bespoke and are able to work with you to achieve your goals. Always on hand for safeguarding visits or for advice. Part of our team! Great communication.

11. What is the single biggest reason you would recommend the service?

Professional, caring, and flexible to meet the changing needs of our school. They are the experts in their field.