Single social work college likely to be agreed

The two colleges of social work expect to reach an understanding and come together as one single organisation, it has been confirmed. Hilton Dawson (left), chief executive of BASW - the College of Social Work, has revealed he is "confident " an agreement will soon be in place.

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The two colleges of social work expect to reach an understanding and come together as one single organisation, it has been confirmed.

Hilton Dawson, chief executive of BASW – the College of Social Work, revealed he was “confident that we will soon have a jointly agreed memorandum of understanding in place for moving ahead together”.

BASW – the College of Social Work was launched by the British Association of Social Workers in January after it became disillusioned with the Social Work Reform Board’s efforts to develop a college in England.

The two colleges have since held a series of talks in an attempt to resolve the dispute.

In the May edition of BASW’s in-house magazine Professional Social Work, Dawson wrote that a number of issues had been resolved, including:

• The need for a UK-wide college of social work, which would be “developed in accordance with the wishes of social workers and the current state of devolution in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland”.

• The need for the college to have statutory powers, which would require certain specific organisations to consult with and respond to the college.

It is as yet unclear whether the disagreement over a joint membership deal between the reform programme college and Unison, announced in November 2010, has been fully resolved.

Dawson wrote that the two colleges had agreed on the need for “an independent college whose relationships with trade unions will be effectively decided by you [BASW members] at our annual general meeting”.

A spokesperson for the reform board’s college said: “We are hoping to make a positive announcement early next week.”

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