Admissions and Curriculum Enhancements within the South-West London & Surrey Teaching Partnership

Our Teaching Consultants and Service User Group working together on admissions processes

Teaching Partnerships were developed by the Department for Education (DfE) following Croisdale-Appleby’s 2014 independent review of social work education – the principle aim being to improve the teaching on pre and post qualifying social work courses by strengthening the links between Higher Education Institutes (HEI) and Local Authority (LA) partners to ensure that social work education is closely linked to direct practice.

The South West London and Surrey Teaching Partnership – Developing Together –  successfully bid for funding as part of the third phase of Teaching Partnerships in April 2018. Since this time there has been a flurry of activity working with our Local Authority partners; Merton, Surrey, Sutton, Kingston, Achieving For Children, Croydon, and Richmond and Wandsworth, along with our HEI partner Kingston University, and Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI) partners National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and Welcare. Overseeing and driving forward the vision of the ‘Developing Together’ partnership are the Programme Lead and Social Work Lead, Libbi Aldred and Sue Lansley, who, following their appointment in October 2018, have been responsible for ensuring that the key aims are achieved. In this blog we have looked at success and some of the challenges in two key areas; student selection processes and the development of the teaching curriculum on pre-qualifying social work courses.

Student Selection

As part of the changes to student selection processes it was agreed by the partnership that  the entry requirements for students on the BA in Social Work would be raised from 112 to 120 UCAS points in the hope that this would see improved academic abilities in students accepted and thus a higher calibre of social worker once qualified. Role plays and group exercises were also introduced with service users and practitioners being considerably more involved in the assessment process. Whilst these changes have identified academically able students who have been offered places on the course, there are also some unforeseen difficulties.

There has been a significant drop in the number of students applying for places on social work courses nationally and this is mirrored at Kingston University. Whilst wanting entry standards to be maintained, Universities need to ensure that there are enough students on the course so that it is financially viable and this may require entry requirements to be lowered. These dilemmas are part of the discussions held in the student selection meetings and it will not be until the clearing period is upon us in August that we will have a clearer idea of what entry requirements have been for the social work courses for the 2019 student intake.

Those attending the student selection days have provided positive feedback around the interviews and roleplays, however it is clear that whilst the bar has been raised on course entry requirements, we will not be able to see if there has been an improvement in academic achievements until the end of students’ teaching. Looking further ahead, understanding whether higher academic ability will translate into an improved calibre of social work practitioner may not be seen until five plus years from the time of the current intake.

Teaching Consultants

One of the most exciting and tangible areas of development for the Developing Together Teaching Partnership has been the recruitment of Teaching Consultants. These practitioners from our partner agencies are involved in the teaching of students alongside academics, as well as supporting in reviewing modules on social work courses to ensure that they are being informed by contemporary practice. After interviewing over seventy social workers for the Teaching Consultant roles, thirty four were appointed with a broad range of specialisms and expertise in social work practice. Training was delivered by the University around the planning and delivery of teaching and assessing students and research methodologies. This was gratefully received by the Teaching Consultants who have fed back that the role has invigorated their enthusiasm for practice and is a key area of development for them.  The MA module ‘Applied Social Work Practice’ taught by senior lecturer, Maria Brent, saw the fantastic achievement of Teaching Consultants being part of the delivery of every session, bringing examples from practice to the classroom and ensuring that teaching is current around law and policy. The feedback from students as to the most helpful elements of the module has been extremely powerful:

“different practitioners sharing their own experiences”

“the ideas to bring different people in to run the sessions opened up a wide range of experiences”

“I found the lectures and afternoon sessions interesting and also enjoyed the teaching [consultants]”

“teaching partnerships v. interesting”

There have been a few challenges alongside the success as it was agreed by senior leaders that Teaching Consultants would have 10% of their time freed for the role. This has proved to be difficult as Teaching Consultants juggle a challenging day job with their role at the University. Although, this has not dampened their spirits and many are keen to be involved and see how the role is developing their skills and knowledge in the training and development of our future social workers.

So it would seem that Teaching Consultants are here to stay as part of Kingston University’s delivery of teaching – all those involved academics, students and Teaching Consultants can see the value of having current practice being taught by a social worker who is sharing every day practice examples. Our senior managers are keen to see how the Teaching Consultant role is developing their own workforce and contributing to the retention of these experienced social workers. Again, time will tell whether the input of Teaching Consultants in the curriculum will see an improvement in student social workers’ knowledge and skills when they embark on their placements and then into their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) role.

If you’re reading this and are interested in the work of our Teaching Partnership, please keep an eye on our website where you can find details of upcoming events, blogs, vacancies, and ways that you can get involved.

Our next blog will look at the activity being driven by our ‘Readiness for Practice’ stream of work and how our Practice Education Team are working with partners to improve statutory placement provision and the quality of placements for students on Kingston University’s BA and MSW in Social Work courses.

Authors: Libbi Aldred – Programme Lead & Sue Lansley – Social Work Lead       

Becoming a future leader with Ealing Council

This is an exciting time to join the award-winning children services of London Borough of Ealing.

We have
been transforming our services to deliver positive outcomes and evidenced based
practice for children in care and on the edge of care. We have developed a
service structure that ensures our social workers and managers place children
and their families are at the heart of everything we do. Our goal now is to
change our Good OFSTED rating to an Outstanding one and we need outstanding
professionals to join us on this journey.

effective social care starts with exceptional leadership. We will support you
and together drive the services forward so that children, young people and
their families have the right interventions and support they need to live
healthy and secure lives in the community. You will receive regular 1:1 and
group supervision and you will also have access to our pride and joy: cutting
edge leadership programme.  

We have
exciting opportunities for Deputy Managers across various Children’s Services
Teams who will also support building our future work force for tomorrow by
supporting the high calibre of newly qualified staff through our ASYE program.
We will also look for you to provide senior level case supervision and co-ordinate
meetings with a number of partner agencies and professionals. The net result
will be that children and families in Ealing benefit from the best possible
safeguarding and protection.

We also
have exciting senior Social Work opportunities in our specialist Court teams
offering the opportunity to work with their outstanding leaders, as well as a
close working relationship with our highly respected legal team.

We are
looking for future leaders and as such, you will need to be at the top of your
game as a social work professional. You will be an expert in your field, with
extensive early intervention, front line child protection and court work
experience. You will bring a wealth of knowledge and be inspirational in your
approach to managing diverse and complex cases. For the Deputy Team Manager
role, we would welcome interest from senior social workers who are interested
in taking that next step into management and leadership.

We are
looking to appoint to the following positions:

1.         Deputy
Team Manager – CIN

2.         Deputy
Team Manager – CIN, Adolescent

3.         Deputy
Team Manager – LAC

4.         Senior
/ Social Worker – Court Team

If you would like to discuss those opportunities
informally and in confidence, then please do not hesitate to contact Katarzyna
Prosniak at Hays Social Care for more information.

Her number is 020 7259 8715 or email

Contributed by Paul Hattan (Head of Children in Need) & Carol Yates (Head of Children in Care), Hays Social Care.

While you’re here…

Have you heard about One Stop Social Membership? Our Membership is a chance for social workers to form a community – led by front-line practitioners for front-line practitioners. Become a part of our social work collective, where you can learn collaboratively, connect with peers and recommend tools and resources for your practice as well as a whole host of discounts and rewards to save you thousands of pounds a year.

We did it: One Stop Social takes on London!

After many months of effort, on Thursday 24th January we finally opened the doors for our first social work and care convention in London. With over 20 CPD workshops running throughout the day and the chance to network with some fantastic front-line services in our sector, this event had been a labour of love for our team and we were so excited to bring together everyone for a great day. And what a day it was!

From our very first attendee arriving just after 09:00 to fighting for the last slice of pizza at the ‘afterparty’, the London edition of Work and Care Together was an immense success. With 600 people through the door and around 100 or so representing different services in our exhibition, the convention was able to unite a substantial portion of the extended One Stop Social community for a great day of development and networking. Our workshops were absolutely packed with attendees who were engaging with the different topics enthusiastically and really making the most of the training available. It was very rewarding to see our practitioners discussing innovative ideas about how to move forward as a collective and ensure social work and care modernises with the times!

Social Worker & OSS Director Matt Hughes with Chief Social Worker (Adults) Lyn Romeo

Even just in the few days since the event took place, our team have had brilliant feedback from both partners and ticket-holders on the value they found and how they enjoyed the workshops we coordinated. The Twitter-verse was ablaze with #WorkCareTogether on the day and we’re continuing to receive positive messages about the benefits felt of being able to access such high-quality training and networking for free.

We’d like to take this moment to extend a massive thank you to all the services who came together and made this event possible. Every single exhibitor and presenter is a valued member of our social work community, and we were proud to have them involved. Having West Sussex County Council on board as our Main Partners gave our attendees the chance to hear about how they’re raising the bar for how local authorities support their practitioners with their #stepthisway programme. Our 3 Sponsors also each brought intellectual insight and creativity to the event, to inspire our attendees. Care Sourcer kept us in steady supply of donuts throughout the day, as well as providing a new perspective on saving social workers time when arranging care. Hays Social Care were able to give a realistic look at the recruitment and employment process for practitioners; and their debate on ‘Working Effectively in Times of Austerity’ was definitely thought provoking. Last, and definitely not least, the team from Elder Live in Care showcased how they’re able to match carers to people in need of at-home care in a person-centred way. They also had some of the most in-demand branded sweets of the day!

On a personal level, we were really pleased to have the opportunity to actively discuss our new social work membership with front-line practitioners and get feedback on the genuine usefulness of the rewards and discounts we offer. We’ve developed OSS Membership for you, our community, and so to be able to hear how pleased you are about the resource providers we’ve partnered with or the enthusiasm for the personal discounts available in our rewards platform… it makes all the effort worthwhile!

One Stop Social Membership

Bringing our Work and Care Together conventions to our social work community in the capital city was an incredibly important step for us. We’ve always worked to support practitioners nationally, and so being able to be present in London and connect with so many professionals in person reaffirmed our drive to help develop our “one stop shop” for the sector and we’re really proud of the discussions that were able to take place on Thursday. This will definitely not be the last Work and Care Together event, and while our next may take us back above the North-South divide again, we know we’ll be back in London in no time!  

If you were at Work and Care Together in London last week, then we want to hear from you! Let us know what you thought of the convention and where you think we could have done better. After all, these events are for you, so we want to make sure we’re providing the best platform for our community that we can.

Matt had this to say:

Well, what a fantastic day we had at our first Work & Care Convention in London! It was great to see, in all, over 700 practitioners in attendance. As most of you who’ve been following One Stop Social for a while know, I’ve been on a mission to promote the positive and excellent work social workers and care professionals do every single day. For me, this day epitomised the dedication our community has to supporting vulnerable people and developing good practice. I loved the chance to celebrate social work and care with everyone in London and look forward to seeing you all at our next Work and Care Together event!

Social Work Convention Training

The countdown is officially on for the first installment of Work and Care Together in London.

With just a few days days left until we open the doors for our first major social work and care convention at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel, it’s an understatement to say we’re excited. We’ve got some fantastic services involved in the exhibition element of the day (including our Sponsors Care Sourcer, Hays Social Care and Elder Live-In Care) and with West Sussex County Council on board as our Main Partners for the whole event, we’ve been able to craft an event with practitioners at the heart.

Attendees will automatically enter our free competition, offering the following prizes:

1) £200
2) 2 OSS Memberships  (for you and a friend)
3) 1 OSS Membership
4) £100 
5) 2 FREE Social Work Books 

At One Stop Social, we pride ourselves on the fact that we’re front-line practitioner run, and so everything we do is driven by ways we can realistically help our social work and care communities. We understand the day-to-day struggles within social work and we use all the resources at our disposal to help where we can. An example of this is the training we’ve organised for Work and Care Together in London. We recognise it’s so important for practitioners to develop their skills and understanding in different areas of social work; therefore, we wanted to make sure we offered a variety of different talks at our convention which our attendees would actually want to see. With a whopping 24 training workshops and presentations taking place throughout the day on 24th January – all completely free to attend – we hope we’ve achieved this.

Below you’ll find the full training schedule for all 5 of our break-out rooms at Work and Care Together and remember, they’re all entirely free! OSS Members can pre-register for their chosen sessions, but aside from that, the rooms will be filled on a first come first served basis. All you’ll need to do is come by the One Stop Social stand and let our team know which presentation you’d like to attend. We’ll close the lists 15 minutes before each workshop so we’d recommend getting to the event a bit early! You’ll need a “General Admission” ticket to access the event as a whole so make sure to book yours! There will be a very limited number of tickets available at the door

Training Room 1
Training Room 2
Training Room 3
Training Room 4
Training Room 5

We hope to see you all there, and just remember, if you have any questions feel free to email us at

One Stop Social Membership – If you’d like first access to One Stop Social organised training, not just at Work and Care Together but across the UK, then sign up for our new membership scheme. For just £6.49/month you’ll get discounts of between 10-30% on a range of social work books, e-books and resources; free e-journals; 90% off bespoke social work insurance packages AND access to our rewards platform!

Our Work and Care Together Partners for London!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As the Christmas break edges closer it could be assumed that we’re all consumed with thoughts of mince pies, eggnog and presents; but in the case of the One Stop Social team, you’d be mistaken. The end of December for us doesn’t mean Christmas (well it does obviously, we’re not totally immune to festivity) but in actual fact, means we’re that one step closer to our first convention in London. On Thursday 24th January 2019 we’re going to be setting up shop at the Park Plaza Riverbank in central London for a day of networking, training and creative thinking. The second installation of our Work and Care Together events (and our first in the capital city) is centred around the theme of “Educate. Collaborate. Innovate.”, highlighting our drive to support our community with the latest ideas within social work and care.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”3689″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]What’s making us even more excited in the countdown to this event, besides the insightful (free) CPD training workshops and presentations delivered by experts in their field, are the incredible partners who we’re working with for the exhibition at Work and Care Together. We’re committed to making the networking element of this event as equally engaging as the training sessions – and so with that in mind, we’ve got a great line-up for you. Forget Glastonbury or the World Cup Final: this will be the place to be if you’re as passionate about social work and care as we are.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]First up, we’ve got out Main Partners: West Sussex County Council. After examining the issues of recruitment and retention within the sector throughout our first Work and Care Together event in Manchester, we’re really excited to be working with West Sussex this time, as they’re showing an active drive to work on these problems with their new #StepThisWay programme. We’re sure they’ll have some great insight in London for our delegates, not just about the employability process, but how we can collectively develop social work processes positively as we move forward. Make sure you stop by their stand on 24th January 2019 and chat to their great team![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”3649″ img_size=”medium”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We’ve also got a great team of sponsors for our second installation in our Work and Care Together series, as our team are keen to collaborate with different services o create a fun and interesting event for you, our community. Hays Social Care, the internationally recognised recruitment agency, are emphasising the “Educate” angle of the events theme by highlighting the importance of working on your skills throughout your career. They’ll also be delivering a presentation on “Working Effectively in Social Work”, which we’re sure will help guide practitioners through their career development. The “Innovate” aspect is handled by Care Sourcer, a start-up from Edinburgh who are working to revolutionise social care with their new care-matching service. Thanks to our recent investigative research with them on the delayed discharge rates within London, we’ve learnt about their determination to integrate technology within the sector, so you’ll not want to miss hearing from them! Our sponsor Elder embody the “Collaborate” theme for Work and Care Together, as leading care providers of live-in care, they recognise the importance of human connections and how the right partnerships can make a real difference in social care. They have service users at the heart of their work, a value we respect and empathise with. They’ll be hosting a breakfast workshop with complimentary coffee and pastries, which will no doubt be a great kick-off for the event![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Our other exhibitors are equally exciting and we’re sure will bring some really interesting perspectives to our first London event. There’ll be a great mix of front-line services to shed light on various different aspects of social work and care, so make sure you don’t miss out on your chance to chat with the great teams working to support our social work and care community in the best way. These include:

Richmond and Wandsworth Councils

University of Kent Child Protection Centre 

Skills for Care

Research in Practice

Sugarman Education – Children’s Services Division

Potton Kare Services

Centre for Adult Social Care: Advice, Information & Dispute Resolution (CASCAIDr)

National Careers Service 

Edge Training

West Midlands Children’s Services


Parents Against Child sexual Exploitation (PACE)

Every Child Leaving Care Matters (ECLCM)

Kirwin Maclean Associates 

Hays Social Care 


Care Sourcer 

Creative Sparkworks 

Elder Live-In Care 

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]This is shaping out to be a really great day for practitioners, if we do say so ourselves, so book your free ticket today! This ticket will let you access the event as a whole, and then you can register your interest for any of the training or sessions you like with a member of the One Stop Social Team on the day![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Remember though that all OSS Members can pre-register for their chosen workshops, so if you’ve signed up to One Stop Social Membership, you get first dibs! Otherwise, it’s first come first served – so we’d suggest getting there early so that you don’t miss out on your favourite session![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_btn title=”Book Your Free Ticket Here” color=”warning” align=”center” link=”||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”One Stop Social Membership ” txt_align=”center” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”One Stop Social Membership ” btn_color=”warning” btn_align=”center” btn_link=”||target:%20_blank|”]Do you want first access to our training workshops at Work and Care Together and other One Stop Social events; as well as a whole range of other benefits? Then join One Stops Social Membership for just £6.49/month!

By becoming a member of One Stop Social, you’ll get vastly discounted bespoke social work insurance packages, promo codes for social work books and e-books, and access to popular e-journals. We also recognise you’re more than just your practice, so part of the membership is a rewards platform where you can find special deals that can be cashed in at high-street retailers and restaurants, when booking holidays and even on your regular utilities.

Register for One Stop Social’s Membership and start being rewarded as a practitioner and as a person![/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”3678″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row]