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Statutory roles and responsibilities of the Education Welfare Service

The Use of Statutory Powers

The Education Welfare Service undertakes proceedings on behalf of the Local Authority, in respect of parents who do not ensure their children's regular attendance at school or enrol them at school or otherwise.

The Education Welfare Service will make relevant assessments and actions plans in partnership with pupils, parent(s), school staff and other relevant parties, concerning attendance at school or alternative educational provision.

The use of legal action against parents will be considered as part of a planned intervention with families.

The Education Welfare Service must ensure accountability for cases taken to court and liaise with schools concerning such cases.

The Education Welfare Service offers information to parents and pupils about rights and responsibilities concerning attendance and the legal process, during any intervention with a family.

Offences in respect of attendance
Section 444(1) and 444(1A) Education Act 1996
Failure to ensure regular attendance at school by parent

Offences committed by parents where child is on roll at school
Section 437 Education Act 1996
Failure to register a child at a school

Offences committed by parents where child has not been registered at a school

Factors which may lead to legal action:

  • Where parents decline to work in partnership or to co-operate with suggested intervention for their child.
  • Where parents are openly hostile and / or verbally aggressive towards EWS staff and it proves impossible to engage them in any positive action or intervention for their child.