Government stalls on student placement decision

    The government has stalled on making a decision on cutting the length of social work students’ practice placements from 200 to 130 days.

    The Social Work Task Force said consideration should be given to reducing placement lengths – but a decision on such a move will not be taken until a review of the degree curriculum which will form the basis for social work courses in 2012.

    The government’s response to the Social Work Task Force’s final report also revealed that the courses will be subject to more stringent entry requirements.

    Ministers also committed to introducing reformed bursary arrangements, a revised social work undergraduate curriculum, as well as tighter course regulation by 2012.

    Students receiving bursaries will gain new incentives to complete the course and enter employment, the response stated.

    All practice placement assessors will have to comply with revised standards which will be phased in from September 2011. In addition, social workers assisting students on placements will be recognised and have the opportunity to achieve a new grade of practice educator.

    The GSCC will also ensure all placements have appropriate local partnerships in place by 2012.

    An assessed year in practice will form part of the social work qualification from 2016 but will be piloted from 2012.

    Employment-based training will be changed with the Children’s Workforce Development council’s graduate recruitment scheme being discontinued and funding made directly available to statutory children’s services.

    Television campaigns to encourage people to enter the profession, which started last year, will continue.

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