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Negotiators appointed for BASW and College of Social Work talks

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and The College of Social Work (TCSW) have each agreed to appoint one independent person to work together as mediators and negotiators seeking to support the organisations to reach agreement about the future structure of representation for social work and social workers.

Penny Thompson has been appointed by TCSW and David N Jones has been appointed by BASW. Both have been appointed in a personal capacity. Both hold national positions in social work and have long experience of the organisational structure of social work in the UK and around the world. Neither has been involved in negotiations between the bodies to date.

Speaking on their appointment, Penny Thompson and David Jones said: “We are honoured to have been asked to undertake this challenging role. We fully support the proposal made by the Social Work Reform Board that there should be a national voice which unites the social work profession. We recognise that social workers in general have been perplexed by the disagreements between the different parties in recent months. We also recognise that there are important issues of principle which need to be addressed. We have accepted this task with optimism and look forward to working closely with all parties to strengthen the social work profession.’


Penny Thompson
Penny became the Chief Executive of the General Social Care Council (GSCC) in March 2010. This is the latest leadership role in her long and respected career, which has included Board level positions in the NHS and local government. Highlights have included working as Chief Executive of the London Borough of Hackney, and Executive Director of Social Services in Sheffield.

Penny graduated with a BA (Hons) in History and gained an MA in social work in 1979. She has over ten years of front line social work experience in challenging environments, including two years as a qualified social worker at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and six years as a social worker for Sheffield City Council.

David N Jones
David is a registered social worker and an independent consultant having ‘retired’ after over 20 years in senior positions in national social care organisations. He is the independent Chair of the Adult and Children Safeguarding Boards in Leicester and Immediate Past President of the International Federation of Social Workers. He was General Secretary of the British Association of Social Workers (1985-1994).

David graduated with a BA (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, qualified with an MA in Applied Social Studies in 1974 and was recently awarded a PhD in social work. His social work practice in Nottinghamshire mainly focussed on child protection and for the last 14 years he has held various honorary international roles representing social work.