Greater transparency: Council exposes social work findings to public scrutiny

July 15, 2010

Universities that fail to deliver quality social work training to students will be subject to greater intervention in future, the General Social Care Council has warned.

In a bid to open its work up to public scrutiny, the council has also published previously undisclosed inspection reports about every institution that offers social work degrees.

Its reports for 2008-09 reveal that 14 institutions fully met the council's requirements, while 61 met them but were asked to make improvements.

In addition, two institutions - Thames Valley University and Brunel University - were considered to be "at risk" of failing to meet expectations, with inspectors undertaking further investigations.

Havering College of Further and Higher Education was also subject to an inspection after "serious concerns" identified by the council, and is now subject to an action plan.

The report on Thames Valley's BSc in social work highlights concerns about whether there were enough staff teaching the course. The fact that the course had only one external examiner and its difficulties in finding statutory childcare placements were also problems.

A spokeswoman for the university said that the "vast majority" of students now had placements, with the rest being placed in the next three weeks.

The report on Brunel has not yet been published, but the university said it had "every confidence" its provision would meet the council's requirements.

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