Nearly 90% of British Association of Social Workers’ members have voted in favour of an independent, UK-wide college of social work.
The results were revealed at a BASW council meeting this afternoon. More than 5,000 of the association’s 12,500 members took part in the ballot, with 4,543 voting in favour of pushing for a college that covers all four UK nations from the start.
However, it remains unclear whether this means BASW will go ahead with proposals to form a separate college to that being developed under the social work reform programme for England.
A spokesperson for the association said: “BASW will now use the huge mandate received from its members to begin work in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales on developing a college of social work across the UK.”
But when asked if this meant BASW would abandon its proposals to form a separate college, the spokesperson said a final decision had yet to be reached.
Meanwhile the college development group has reaffirmed its commitment to establishing a single, independent college of social work.
Responding to the results of the BASW vote, Allan Bowman, chair of development group, said: ““All social workers, including BASW members, need an influential, broad-based college to support their development and represent them in negotiations with policy makers, the media, the public, employers and other key stakeholders.”
BASW’s chair Fran Fuller and chief executive Hilton Dawson are due to meet with representatives from the development group tomorrow.
Bowman said: “We are optimistic that we can find a constructive way forward to working with BASW and its membership on a unified approach.”
BASW could return to national college development group
BASW vows to launch breakaway social work college