Wheel reinvented

13th July 2001 at 01:00
IN your article "Brakes may be put on youth services" (FEFocus, June 25), the role of the personal adviser almost totally fits the duties of education welfare officers and social workers nationally.

The Education Welfare Services have repeatedly asked for a higher ratio of EWOs to pupils, and for this to be prescribed by Government. It is with deep personal regret that I now see this new post of personal adviser being created almost in competition with EWOs.

Despite regularly asking governments to introduce a national qualification for EWOs, to date the service has been unsuccessful. How nice it would be then if Estelle Morris recognised our profession and its expertise and success in working with a difficult client group.

Doug Nicholls, general secretary of the Community and Youth Workers Union, says that there are aspects of the new personal adviser's job that are new. That may be the case for their union, but it is certainly not the case for the EWS nationally.

Why reinvent the wheel when an excellent one exists already. For personal adviser read: education welfare officersocial worker. We have been doing this work for the last 25 years, to my knowledge (the length of my career as an education welfare officer and manager).

Sue Withers 5 Lightwood Road Newcastle, Staffordshire

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