School Social Worker Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

School Social Workers, or School Support Workers protect school children from harm while ensuring they effectively function in a school environment. Their duties include maintaining accurate case files on students, working with Teachers and parents to come up with a plan for a student and assessing areas in which a student may need additional counselling or assistance.


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School Social Worker duties and responsibilities

School Social Workers’ daily activities range from counselling to administrative work. They coordinate with parents, Teachers and students to assess and resolve the student’s behavioural issues and social problems. Some of their main responsibilities include:

  • Creating a plan to help students function in a school environment
  • Participating in the SEN (Special Education Needs) process as necessary 
  • Working closely with school staff, health professionals and other community agencies
  • Maintaining accurate case files and reports to track students’ issues and progress
  • Facilitating communication between students, parents, Teachers and Administrators
  • Assessing areas where students need additional help and support
  • Supporting students’ safety and taking appropriate action to protect them when necessary


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What does a School Social Worker do?

A School Social Worker offers guidance and help to students that are struggling in school. They work with Teachers, parents and Administrators to identify problem areas for a student and create a plan on how to help the student adjust and fix their problems. They maintain accurate case files for these students and provide counselling when necessary. They also work with the school administration to create an overall positive environment for all students within the school.


School Social Worker skills and qualifications

School Social Workers deal with stressful situations and need empathy and active listening skills. A successful School Social Worker candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications such as persistence and dedication to find the root cause of any problems troubling the students and resolve them efficiently. Other skills typically include:

  • Compassion and an approachable personality
  • General knowledge of sociology and an understanding of culture and society
  • The ability to work well with others
  • A strong sense of discretion and professionalism
  • Patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Flexibility and openness to change
  • Excellent listening and verbal communication skills


School Social Worker experience requirements

People employed in the field of social work must have a strong foundation in guidance, giving advice and an understanding of their area’s school system. Some positions require additional training for experience with specific vulnerable groups. Many candidates acquire previous experience as a Social Work Assistant or Support Worker before becoming a qualified School Social Worker. 


School Social Worker education and training requirements

Most employers require applicants to have a degree or postgraduate qualification in social work that is approved by Social Work England. Employers also accept candidates with a degree in education if they complete a two-year postgraduate degree in social work because this position deals with schooling and education.

After formal schooling, most candidates complete a social worker degree apprenticeship, which can take up to three years to complete. Many employers find this apprenticeship equivalent to previous job experience. Some candidates complete a work-based training programme for recent graduates called Frontline that specialises in children’s social work. Successful applicants also need to pass enhanced background checks as they will be working with children.


School Social Worker salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a School Social Worker is £43,323 per year in the UK. Salary is usually dependent on experience, location and company.


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School Social Worker job description FAQs


Who does a School Social Worker report to?

A School Social Worker reports to the Headmaster/Headmistress of a school when they have to discuss specific issues about any student. They also communicate regularly with Teachers and staff members, sharing notes and records regarding students’ progress or problems.


What are the different types of School Social Workers?

The two areas in which a School Social Worker can work are in primary schools or secondary schools. Both require the School Social Worker to advocate for and help children that are struggling in school. However, the age difference between students in primary and secondary school requires School Social Workers to adjust their methods accordingly. A School Social Worker employed in a primary school is involved with instilling basic social and educational skills in young children. A person employed in a secondary school helps students deal with issues such as peer pressure, stress and their higher education options.


How can you make your School Social Worker job description stand out?

To make your job description stand out, start by describing the school’s mission statement and goals. Then add the responsibilities of the role, followed by the educational qualifications. Mention areas for development as well as career progression within the school for those candidates who are focused on long-term career goals. Finally, state any benefits and salary to make the description comprehensive.

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