Our NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (NEC) meets at least 3 times a year for business and developmental issues. Our 6 Regions each have a Regional Representative on NEC. The President Elect is elected to serve for 1 year, followed by 1 year as President and 1 year as Past President. Other officers are elected to 3 year terms.

MEMBERS CONFERENCE & ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - Typically a day in May each year. The day is for training and an AGM (Members Only) is normally held on the same day. TRAINING DAY - Typically October a full day training day where non-members are welcome.

President - Steve Wilkinson

AEWM President Elect - Steve Wilkinson

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Past President - Joanne Sierzega

AEWM President - Joanne Sierzega Contact Joanne

"I joined AEWM approximately 15 years ago following a suggestion at the time from my line manager. I was fortunate to discover a professional organisation that supported, challenged, and provided a wealth of information to those managing attendance services. With the bonus of meeting some wonderful colleagues and friends. The organisations Code of Practice and Principles resonated with me and most importantly, It’s an organisation that remains focused on the child.

Joining AEWM wasn’t the first time in my “attendance” career that I took the advice of someone who I valued and respected. In fact, I was incredibly lucky to fall into the job of an EWO in the first place. I was interviewed for a 3-month temporary post as an EWO in a Local Authority EWS in January 2000 as I was looking for some work experience straight out of university and wasn’t quite sure which direction I wanted to go. My father, a secondary school teacher, had come across the school EWO and thought this was a role I would thrive in and gave me a nudge (not sure which of my school experiences he was basing this on!). As a result, I had a profession that I became incredibly passionate about and where two days are never the same. I stayed employed as an EWO/SEWO/Chief EWO at that Local Authority Education Welfare Service for almost 16 years until in 2015 when the LA restructured and I along with two colleagues, established and continue to manage and work for our Independent Attendance and Welfare Service. I’m fortunate that my current position gives me a wonderful balance of working directly with amazing colleagues, a wide range of schools, LA’s children and families, thinking strategically, providing consultancy, training, and staff development all within an attendance specialism.

Over the past 15 years I have also had the opportunities to be involved in delivering training to and the professional development of Education Welfare Officers and Attendance Officers something I really value, and I always find I learn something myself. I will confess to being a bit of a data “nerd” and believe that effective attendance practice includes understanding attendance data, having a clear attendance strategy, utilising case work assessments and intervention within the legal framework."

President Elect - John Leese

AEWM Independent Sector - John Leese Contact John

"I was interested in working in Education from a young age, and whilst my dream job of PE teacher evaded me, I like to think that my career pathway has led me onto bigger and better things!

I gradated from the University of Exeter with a BA (Hons) Degree in History and Education Studies in 2002 and achieved a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from the University of Aberystwyth in 2003. Despite giving teaching a go, I was more concerned about the welfare of children and young people, and so was lucky enough to gain employment with Sandwell Education Welfare Service in the West Midlands in 2004 (Thank you Paul Mellors!). As an EWO I gained experience within a traditional EWS before moving onto locality working with Telford and Wrekin Council in 2007. It was however my next job, as a Team Leader for Attendance and Connexions with Somerset County Council that was a game changer, joining in 2009 and meeting my long-term partner Andrea, as well as Tony Waller and the AEWM. I left Somerset in 2011 to work in the big smoke, joining the London Borough of Croydon, rising to the position of Lead for Attendance and Education Safeguarding, where I stayed until 2016 until I made the decision to move back to Shropshire and work for myself. Azure Education Consultancy was born!

Azure has enabled me to gain some great experiences, working in a large Multi-Academy Trust as an Area Safeguarding and Attendance Lead, working at a troubled Academy as a Vice-Principal and DSL, and having a direct impact in moving them away from special measures, as well as further experiences in roles at Local Authorities in the West Midlands, London and Yorkshire. Azure has also given me the time to try other things too, and my interest in Criminal Investigation (thanks again Mike Neumann from ITS Training for the nomination!) has led me to undertake a Master’s Degree in Criminal Investigation from the University of Derby, and to a 2 year posting as a Criminal Investigator for West Midlands Police within their hugely busy Burglary / Robbery / Serious Assault Team. I achieved some great outcomes both as an individual and as part of a team, receiving a Chief Constable’s Commendation, but it was also seeing the huge number of young people involved in violent crime, including murder investigations, which reminded me of true calling, to have an impact into the lives of children and families as early as possible, by making sure children are in school, whilst protecting them from harm and exploitation.

I’ve worked in the independent/consultancy world for 6 years now, and what I enjoy most is the freedom you have to develop and deliver a much wider range of services and support, to work with people from all walks of life, and most importantly, stay true to my vision of “Clearing the Clouds, leaving Blue Skies ahead“

Away from work, I enjoy Volleyball, Liverpool FC (YNWA), Walking, Camping and Travelling."

Vice President - Dave Harvey

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AEWM Past President - Dave Harvey"I qualified as a teacher in 1979 and taught at for nearly 30 years in comprehensives as a geography teacher, Head of department, Head of Faculty and senior leadership positions. In 2009 I moved to work for Hampshire County Council as as Area Strategic Manager - Alternative Provision and in 2017 as Inclusion Support Manager with oversight of inclusion, attendance, CME and EHE. The key was building and sustaining relationships with schools whilst keeping the best interests of the child at the centre of thinking.

I retired in 2021 but continue to keep abreast of developments in attendance, inclusion and elective home education.

As Chair of the Association of Elective Home Education (AEHEP) I joined the AEWM national executive in 2017, elected president elect in 2019 and president in 2021/22."

Vice President - Steve Martin

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AEWM Vice President - Steve Martin"I hated Grammar School, so I put most of my efforts into Scouting. I spent a number of years proving my Head Teacher wrong when he said I wouldn’t make a career out of working with children!

In 1978 I was invited by the Boy Scouts of America to work on a Scout Camp in Wisconsin. Six Months later I secured the post as EWO in Sandwell (one of the interviewers was also into Scouting, Mike Davis MBE, Past President of AEWM). Ironically my first school was where I had ‘studied’.

Once I had left school I secured an HNC in Public Admin and a Diploma In Social Work, 10 years later I secured a Seniors post. In 2001 I secured a Sector Managers role In Solihull

My areas of responsibility included: managing a successful Education Welfare Service, leading on Safeguarding in Education and LADO. I also, at various times, had management responsibility for a large social work team supporting unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC), an 'On Track' team and I managed the Child Protection Review Unit.

In addition to being a Board member of the LSCB I also sat on various of its sub- committees including Child Sexual Exploitation, Serious Cases, Child Death, training and I chaired the Education safeguarding committee.

I attended my first AEWM conference in 1997 when my now good friend and boss, Mike was presenting a difficult subject and he wanted me to support him with what was then the new concept of multimedia projection. The first time it had been used at Conference. Perhaps not surprisingly I was adopted onto the NEC as technical support, within a couple of years we had our first website!

One of my proudest moments of my career was when I was elected President of AEWM in 2005/2007 and shortly after members asked me to serve as Vice President. Although I have now retired to the far west of Wales, I still active within the Association and take my VP role very seriously."

Retired Vice President - Alan Cogswell

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AEWM Retired Vice President - Alan Cogswell

Retired Vice President - Julie Weddell

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AEWM Retired Vice President - Julie Weddell

Retired Vice President - Tony Waller

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AEWM Retired Vice President - Tony Waller"I have been an Insurance Broker, Lorry Driver, a few other jobs and spent seven summers working on USA summer Camp as Camp Director of a teenage village. I have lived in Australia, Europe and the Solomon Islands during my travelling years.

I joined the EWS in Northamptonshire CC in 1990, became a Registered Social Worker, Dip SW Practice Teacher and got SEWO status (thanks John Sleet). I moved to Bedfordshire CC in 2005 and then onto Somerset CC in 2009.

I joined AEWM in 2003 as SE Sec. With Guy Halley in 2009, we bought the SW Attendance Leads together to share work practice under ACMER; a collaboration with NASWE which still exists.

I was President of AEWM 2018 - 2019 and made Vice President in 2019; a real honour

In 2018 I retired/took redundancy from Somerset as Attendance and Safeguarding Lead for Education (PEWO!). I now work as an Independent."

General Secretary - Jane Ward

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AEWM General Secretary - Jane Ward

Treasurer & Membership Secretary - Sue Harrison

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AEWM Treasurer & Membership Secretary - Sue Harrison"I have been the AEWM treasurer since 2014. My Education Welfare career began in 1986. I spent almost all my career working in South Bradford initially as an EWO and later took on the role of Area Manager and was responsible for the legal work both preparing cases and presenting cases in Court. I have had several additional roles in my career including being one of the LA safeguarding trainers.

I took voluntary redundance after 28 years service and was able to spend more time with my family."

Assistant Secretary - Ian Norman-Bruce

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AEWM Assistant Secretary - Ian Norman-Bruce

Communications - Julia Jack

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AEWM Communications - Julia Jack"I love working with children and young people and the way they see the world and I have worked in the world of Education welfare for 22 years.

I now manage a team of EWOs in Luton (yes we still have EWOs!). I believe schools as well as families, really need an Education Welfare Service that offers support and challenge and will consider using the approach they think will make the greatest difference to protect a child’s education.

I also try to always remember what it was like to be a child and I still enjoy sweets and Disney movies... just to assist this of course!"

Regional Secretary - Andrea Packer (South West)

Regional Secretary - Edwina Langley (Midlands)

Regional Secretary - Sharon Stevens (North East)

Contact Sharon

AEWM Regional Secretary - Sharon Stevens

Regional Secretary - vacancy (North West)

Contact Julie


Regional Secretary - Colin Mayo (South East)

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AEWM Regional Secretary - Colin Mayo"I have worked in school attendance since 1997, first of all in Staffordshire as an EWO and then as a Principal EWO in Buckinghamshire, managing a team of EWOs in the south of the county. I also had additional responsibilities for safeguarding training and statutory intervention.

Having always had a layman’s interest in the law I moved to Milton Keynes to become a Senior Attendance Officer (Legal Interventions) with responsibility for prosecution and the issue of Penalty Notices within the Education Welfare Service. However, the EWS moved into Early Help and some attendance services became traded.

I am now part of the Children Missing Education team. I still have responsibility for legal interventions but also undertake training to schools to ensure they take a holistic and structured approach to school attendance and are aware of the processes in regard to successful prosecutions."

Regional Secretary - Patrick Ackason (Greater London)

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AEWM Regional Secretary - Patrick Ackason I am Patrick Ackason, the Greater London NEC representative.

My initial background was working in youth work. After finishing university, I went to work as a Behaviour Improvement Mentor in a school in North London. From there, is where I started to work in and around school attendance. In 2007, I then progressed to becoming an Educational Welfare Officer in an East London borough. This is where I really learned the trade so to speak of being an Educational Welfare Officer. In 2013 I moved to Lambeth and in 2015 I became the Educational Welfare Service Manager.

Outside of work, I am interested in health and fitness. I enjoy watching sports such as athletics and am a keen Liverpool fan.

Elective Home Education - Anita Patel-Ingam

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AEWM Elective Home Education - Anita Patel Ingam"I have a degree in Law and soon-after graduating took a job with Leicestershire County Council as an Education Welfare Officer (EWO). I worked as an EWO for several years, working for Leicestershire County Council and Leicester City Council. Starting my career as an EWO was an eye-opening experience and helped me to understand the wide variety of social barriers which may lead to poor attendance patterns and the level of collaboration that it sometimes takes to support children and young people to return to positive patterns of attendance.

In 2005, I joined the middle leadership team within a large secondary school in Leicestershire, as a Head of Year. This role gave me a strong insight into the challenges faced by schools when dealing with the irregular school attendance of pupils and the amount of work that needs to go into identifying the root causes of absence, to allow for any barriers to regular school attendance to be removed.

Since 2010, I have worked in a variety of local authority roles with lead responsibilities across improving school attendance, legal intervention for non attendance, children missing education, elective home education and child employment. I currently work for Essex County Council and Chair the regional South East Elective Home Education Officers (SEEHEO) group. I am also Vice Chair on the national board for the Association of Elective Home Education Professionals (AEHEP) and I am pleased to have joined the National Executive Committee for AEWM as their AEHEP/EHE representative."