My name is Jillian Walsh and I am an Education Welfare Officer employed by Barnsley Council and have been for 16 years. The main aim of the Education Welfare Service is to work with schools, children and families in order to help children and young people access their education and therefore reach their full potential. At the present time, I support both Bankend and Hunningley where I work with the Senior Leadership Team and school staff to identify any children and families that may require support as well as working with individual families in relation to attendance that has fallen below the schools target.
It is important that children learn at primary level that attendance and attainment go hand in hand and are an important part of their lives in order for them to achieve in the future. In addition to this if we can work together at this stage to get it right then this will hopefully lessen the issues at a later stage in secondary school.
I work in a very transparent and non-judgmental way with school, children and their families, by using a range of strategies which include:
* Home visits
* Meetings in school
* Letters home
* Supporting families through the Early Help Assessment process.
All of these strategies are used in the hope that formal referrals to myself can be avoided and situations can be improved without formal action.