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Government listens to BASW UK college proposals

BASW has welcomed an invitation from two senior cabinet ministers to meet with them in the wake of the Association’s decision to ballot members on the formation of a College of Social Work across the UK.

Commenting on the invitation from Ed Balls, the secretary of state at the Department for Children Schools and Families, and his cabinet counterpart for the Department of Health, Andy Burnham, following the launch of BASW’s referendum plan on 3 March, BASW acting chair Fran Fuller said: “I am delighted that Mr Balls and Mr Burnham are keen to meet with BASW and we look forward to giving them a thorough demonstration of how a College of Social Work led by social workers can transform the status and standing of the profession.”

Ms Fuller emphasised the crucial importance of BASW members using their vote in the referendum to back a “College that it is a powerful body, led by and accountable to social workers”, stating: “It is vital that BASW members support a ‘Yes’ vote in our current referendum to ensure that we make the strongest possible case.”

BASW paid tribute to ministerial efforts to clear the way for it to state its case at a meeting of the College Development Group on 22 March. The Association’s chief executive Hilton Dawson and its lead member on the development of the College, Bill McKitterick, have been invited to attend and present the Association’s case for a fully effective College of Social Work led by social workers across the UK.

Commenting on the development Mr McKitterick said: “BASW has worked hard on the proposals for the College and I am delighted that we will now be able to share all our ideas with colleagues at the next meeting of the Development Group on Monday.”

BASW chief executive Hilton Dawson offered his own welcome to the development: “BASW recognises and respects the commitment shown by the Westminster government to social workers and the establishment of a College of Social Work and believe that we are working to the same ends. We do have different views of how the College should be developed but are keen to maintain a dialogue with government and other partners to agree a way forward.

“BASW will continue to discuss this issue with the College Development Group and ministers and we look forward to further discussions taking place. We hope this will lead to a positive recommendation to BASW Council on 28 April at the meeting which is also due to receive the result of our members referendum on the establishment of a College of Social Work across the UK.”