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New social work body

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has announced that there will be a new social work organisation to drive up standards and put social workers on a par with high-status professions such as surgeons or lawyers will be established.

She said that the new body will ensure only high-quality training courses are approved, and support a "world-class social work profession".

The new body will be tasked with raising the quality of social work, education, training and practice in both children’s and adults’ social work. 

It will also set standards for training and oversee the rollout of a new assessment and accreditation system for children and family social workers. Over time, it will become the new regulatory body for social work, in place of the Health and Care Professions Council.

There will also be a £100m expansion of fast-track schemes in a bid to recruit thousands more top graduates into frontline children’s social care. The Frontline training programme – dubbed Teach First for social workers will be expanded across the country, and a further cohort will be trained as part of the government’s Step Up to Social Work scheme. The government said it hopes 3,000 of the "best and the brightest graduates" will be trained as social workers over the next five years.

Meanwhile three further councils – Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Islington – will be granted academy-style freedoms in order to innovate and improve frontline children’s social work.

The government has also said all child and family social workers will have to be assessed against the children and families knowledge and skills statements by 2020 at the latest.