The British Association of Social Workers has rejoined the development group for a national college of social work in England, abandoning its proposals to form a separate UK-wide body.
This is despite the news that nearly 90% of the more than 5,000 BASW members who took part in a recent ballot voted in favour of forming a separate college.
“BASW is fully committed to the success of a college of social work in England and we are determined to bring our democratic credibility and independence to ensure its success,” said Fran Fuller, chair of BASW, following a meeting with the chair of the development group, Allan Bowman, this afternoon.
“Everyone in the development group is pleased to welcome BASW back and all parties look forward to working together to develop the college of social work,” added Bowman.
Separately, members of the development group expressed their relief at BASW’s decision.
“It’s been a sad situation to have different organisations in the field pulling in different directions,” said John Chowcat, general secretary of trade union Aspect. “We should be united.”
Hilary Tompsett, chair of the Joint University Council Social Work Education Committee, told Community Care she hoped BASW would continue to act “in this new spirit of unity”.
“We won’t all agree on everything,” she said. “But that’s fine. Differences of approach are best sorted out together.”
Meanwhile Sue White, chair of the Association of Professors of Social Work, welcomed the announcement that Bridget Robb would take over from Bill McKitterick as BASW’s council lead on the development group.
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