Three-year degree gets under way

The first wave of 2,340 students enrolled on the new three-year
social work degree will start the course this week, marking the
beginning of the biggest shake-up in social work training for a

Students have begun enrolling at Middlesex, Teesside, Plymouth,
Portsmouth, Central Lancashire and Chichester universities,
although the majority start in early October.

Universities and colleges running the social work degree will
receive a share of £1.28m from the General Social Care Council
to establish a skills laboratory. Each of the 71 institutions will
get £16,000 to simulate a social care setting by using audio
and video technology to integrate classroom and practice

It is hoped the laboratories will help students develop and
practice their professional skills by enabling them to critically
evaluate their communication and problem-solving abilities.

Health minister Stephen Ladyman said the government was investing
£21m in social work education this year, which would rise to
more then £81m by 2005-6.

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