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Education welfare and attendance

The Education Welfare Service (EWS) aims to ensure that every child has the opportunity to access education in a safe environment.

In May 2022 the DfE published new guidance Working together to improve school attendance. From September 2022 the Education Welfare Service will be working to implement changes in the way that they support all schools in Devon in line with the new DfE guidance. The guidance is for information only at this stage so schools and colleges can plan for the commencement of the guidance on 1 September 2023. Visit our webpage for updates throughout the year as this is being designed with you in mind to support you with managing whole school attendance.

The DfE guidance states that all schools need to have a clear school attendance policy on the school website, which all staff, pupils and parents understand. We have created a model attendance policy template for you to use and adapt to suit your setting.

In addition, we are asking everyone to pledge their commitment to an ‘Education Attendance Charter’ so that everyone is aware of their responsibility for improving attendance.

Working within government guidance, legislation and Devon County Council policy the team provides the following services:

Attendance advice and guidance

We provide advice and guidance on any problems that may impact on the ability of a child to access or sustain an acceptable level of attendance in education, including welfare issues, behaviour and special educational needs.

Monitoring school attendance

We monitor school attendance against government targets and develop strategic policies and procedures in partnership with schools and other agencies to improve performance. Continually working towards the reduction of persistent absence in Devon. Liaising with pupils and their families, schools and other support agencies to address issues leading to individual poor attendance.


We ensure the safeguarding and safety of children in educational settings by providing regular and appropriate training to all individuals working with young people. Working collaboratively with other agencies to quickly identify, continually monitor and adequately support ‘children at risk’. Locating children currently missing from education to reintroduce and reintegrate learning into their lives.

Collaborative working

Working collaboratively with schools and other agencies to help reduce youth crime, through the reduction in persistent absence and the use of rehabilitation work including the engagement in appropriate activities, of existing offenders and those young people most at risk of becoming involved in criminal activities.

Child employment and entertainment

We provide child employment and entertainment advice, including guidance to employers and parents on Devon County Council byelaws that apply in addition to existing regulations and directives. We also provide applications, issue and monitor licence applications for the county.