All posts by Jessica McEwen

Student Placement Evaluation

An evaluation has been carried out of student placements that took place between February 2017 and July 2017. On the whole, the feedback was positive, with only a minority of students giving poor scores or negative responses.  Some of these responses were for issues that couldn’t have been avoided and are unfortunately symptoms of working in a busy and changeable service, for example, last minute changes to a placement setting or Practice Educator being on unexpected sick leave.

The majority of placements started on time (90%) and 100% of placements had their learning agreement meeting & contract signed within the timeframe agreed.

All students had an induction period and were satisfied that the information given was useful and appropriate.

Feedback from students included:

“Each individual involved within my placement was extremely supportive and I was never left worried about anything. My practice educator alongside my work based supervisor was always available for support in any areas at any time, which improved my own confidence in practice”

“This placement has been excellent. The team have been supportive, friendly, willing to help assist and support when required. I have been able to experience and engage in a wide range of work and have been able to co-work and undertake cases on my own. My Practice Educator has been amazing. She has always made herself available and supported me throughout my placement. I have been able to discuss personal and work related issues. Regular supervision and feedback has allowed me to work on my weaknesses during placement. This has been a fantastic placement and whichever student ends up with this placement next is extremely lucky.”

“The placement has been great and has confirmed the area of social work I wish to practice in. I feel lucky to have worked with the clients, my Practice educator and the team and just wish there were some jobs available”

Assessed and Supported Year for New and Aspiring Managers (ASYAM)

The Assessed and Supported Year for New and Aspiring Managers (ASYAM) pilot has been designed to identify, develop and support aspiring managers and leaders across the South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership (SYTP). The ASYAM will combine bespoke, targeted CPD provision along with work-based mentoring and support, in order to develop a clear, well-supported career pathway into management for our social workers.

The ASYAM pilot will build on the Leadership and Management stream of our Advanced Practitioner Framework, ensuring that future managers and leaders are supported to bring the skills and knowledge developed during this training into their practice, and to further develop and refine these skills under the mentorship of mentors who are experienced managers.

By supporting the development of effective and skilled social work managers, the ASYAM will raise standards and performance in services leading to improved outcomes for service users and carers. The ASYAM will also be embedded within a defined workforce development strategy for the SYTP, and will be mapped to the KSS for practice leaders and practice supervisors. The programme will contribute to the improved recruitment and retention of social workers by ensuring that aspiring managers are supported in both their everyday practice and their individual career aspirations.

The pilot programme will be fully evaluated, and the results of the evaluation will be used to further review and develop the programme, including its timescales, and to determine if the programme will be rolled out across SYTP.

This programme is grounded in what the research tells us about how people improve their practice. It is, therefore, an evidence-informed programme aimed at improving and developing the knowledge, skills, and values of participants for future management and leadership positions. The programme uses a metacognitive approach (Bruner, 1996), which identifies explicit and challenging goals for participants, identifies strategies to reach these goals, and monitors progress towards them. It is based on three inter-related elements: Organisational observation as a foundation for knowledge and skill acquisition; deliberate acts aimed at maintaining, developing, and improving knowledge and skills; and social support for learning and practice development.

The programme will include:

  • A 2 day foundation programme
  • Multisource evaluations of participants’ practice knowledge and skills
  • Individualised practice development plans
  • Practice development communities
  • Individually tailored organisational observations and follow-up practice-reinforcing learning activities
  • Tailored masterclasses and follow-up practice-reinforcing learning activities
  • Individually tailored learning opportunities to gain organisational knowledge
  • Individually tailored leadership activities
  • Individual practice development and improvement mentors
  • Multisource feedback of participants’ practice knowledge and skills

The dates for the ASYAM pilot are as follows:

  • 7th February 2018 – Training for ASYAM mentors
  • 5th & 7th March 2018 ASYAM induction

For further information, please contact 

Teaching Partnership National Networking Forum

South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership (SYTP) have worked with other Teaching Partnerships (TPs) around the country to establish the TP National Networking Forum – the purpose of which is to share knowledge and good practice, and to act as a collective voice for TPs. The first meeting of the forum was held in Manchester in June 2017, and included representatives from 8 TPs.

The second meeting was held in September 2017, hosted by SYTP.  11 Teaching Partnerships were represented at this meeting. The meeting was also attended by the DfE, who will use information gained from the meeting to feed into decision making about the future of funding for Teaching Partnerships. Topics discussed at the meeting included: Placements; CPD; Workforce and labour market planning; and the future of Teaching Partnership funding.

The next meeting will be held in Nottingham on the 9th January, hosted by the D2N2 Teaching Partnership. For more information about this meeting please contact Chris Durkin, D2N2 Project Manager at

South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership planning workshop

The South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership (SYTP) held a workshop on the 21st September, the purpose of which was to reflect on our achievements so far as a partnership, and to plan ahead for the next phase of Teaching Partnership delivery. The event was well attended, with 47 representatives from across all the SYTP partner local authorities, plus The University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and the Department for Education. The event opened with a series of keynote presentations to outline our journey so far – including a welcome speech from Paul Moffatt, Chief Executive of Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, and a presentation from Professor Kate Morris (University of Sheffield).

A series of workshops were then held, in which groups were tasked to look at future plans and developments across 4 key areas: practice education; academic delivery and CPD; research and evidence-informed practice; and retention and succession planning. The workshop facilitators were asked to focus the discussions on sustainability and on developing new and innovative ideas to help address service challenges. Feedback from the workshops and the group discussions will now be used to develop an action plan, which will inform our planning for the next phase of the Teaching Partnership delivery.

The feedback from participants following the event was very positive, with the majority finding it ‘useful’ or ‘very useful’, and with many asking for the workshop to become an annual event. Please see [upload summary report] for a summary of the event. A full post-event evaluation report and action plan is also available on request from

Experiencing the Social Work World Exhibition

Location: Sheffield
Date: 30 October 2017 – 16 November 2017
Time: 11:00 – 15:00

Media stories of failures in social care have meant that social workers are often vilified in the press and portrayed as ‘fools’ or ‘folk-devils’. As the job they do caring for vulnerable children and adults is confidential, social workers are unable to defend themselves and provide their side of the story. As a result, their voices are missing from any kind of public debate. The reputation and standing of the social work profession has, in turn, deteriorated in recent years and, in a number of different ways, this has affected social workers’ practice and their identity.

The artwork and audio stories that form this exhibition have been created with the hope of providing the public with a different perspective; a more sensitive insight into what social work means to those who do it on a daily basis.

This exhibition is taking place as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science. For more information about the Festival, please see 

Bridge over Troubled Water

Bridge over Troubled Water: working together to ensure that social work students are fit to practice.

SYTP staff presented a poster at the University of Sheffield’s recent Engaged Learning Conference. The poster, created by Jane Laing (University of Sheffield), Jess McEwen (SYTP) and Fiona Addison (Sheffield City Council), outlines SYTP’s approach to working collaboratively in order to enhance the quality of the SYTP’s qualifying social work programme. The poster is available to download here: Bridge over Troubled Water

For further details of the event, please see


Practice Education

In line with national drives to raise the quality of social work education and training, a priority for the South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership is to raise the quality and capacity of Practice Education. This has involved work in a number of different areas which staff from across the partnership have contributed to.

The South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership has hosted 91 placements for students from Sheffield University this academic year. Central to this work has been the agency co-ordinators who contribute to the Practice and Placement Development Group (PPDG). They co-ordinate student placements across the authority and quality assure Practice Educator portfolios.

The Teaching Partnership have refreshed the Practice Educator module available to staff to train as a Level 1 Practice Educator and have just completed delivering this for a second time to staff from across the partnership. A module for Level 2 Practice Educators is currently being finalised for delivery in January. Additionally, there have been two “masterclasses” offered already this year with a focus on Practice Education, including one on learning styles and another one on supporting failing students. Practice Educators also attend quarterly network sessions so that they can keep up to date with changes across the partnership and refresh their own knowledge base.

Work has also been ongoing with students with staff from across the partnership contributing to a number of workshops that have been delivered for students. This has included newly developed workshops on child protection and also employability for students hoping to work in adult services.

Catherine Mawn, SYTP Quality Assurance and Standards Manager

Children’s Social Work Matters

Children matter… It’s a simple statement, but it’s what unites everyone in children’s social work.

Under the  banner Children’s Social Work Matters, all 14 local authorities and one Trust in Yorkshire and The Humber are working together by sharing knowledge and experience in a collaborative way to drive standards of care higher and ensure children feel safe – a cause completely aligned with that of the South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership.

Children’s Social Work Matters is about helping to promote and recognise the good work and dedication of our children’s social work teams and to help enable and facilitate collaboration across the region.

To this end, promotes the work and benefits of childrens social work and how to get into the profession in Yorkshire and Humber. This includes all the latest job opportunities across the region and up-to-date news from across the UK on social work matters.

To support collaborative working Childrens Social Work Matters offers social work professionals, students and academics access to Our Children’s Social Work Matters – a private and secure online platform providing a range of very useful features that enable interaction and sharing of information and experiences across the region.

Also accessible at your fingertips via a mobile phone app, the key features include:

  • The latest, real-time, social work news from around the UK and region
  • An events calendar, which as well as being abele to publicise your events can also be used to offer and manage bookings
  • The facility to have private online discussions with colleagues via the ‘Team Room’
  • The facility to log and store CPD activities with reporting and HCPC audit submission functionality
  • Access to, participate in or watch, topical webinars hosted by CSWM from social work practitioners, service users, academics and policy makers
  • Best practice and other resources via the Knowledge and local authority sections

If you’re interested in Children’s Social work and not already aware of or plugged in go to Children’s Social Work Matters at – if you’re already working in social work register for OurCSWM here. If you’re a student or lecturer email us at and we’ll get you registered in no time.


Katie Pemberton

Advanced Practitioner and Practice Educator

I am employed by Barnsley Metropolitian Borough Council as an Advanced Practitioner working with Children and their families who are subject to a Child In Need Plan, Child Protection Plan, PLO Process or Care Proceedings. Within this role, I visit families and continuously assess whether the needs of the children are being met and to form a professional judgement about whether they are safe or if further steps need to be taken in order to safeguard the child.

The Social Worker role is necessary to support parents or carers with personal difficulties such as mental health, substance misuse, learning disability or experiencing domestic abuse. It also supports parents in affording their children with good enough parenting. Without Social Workers, it is highly likely that children would be placed at continuous risk of harm or experience harm for longer periods with no legal framework being implemented by Social Care.

There is no doubt that being a Social Worker is a physically and emotionally demanding role but it is one which is also rewarding and enables the best interests of the child to be secured. On a typical day I arrive at  the office at 8:30am and print off documents for meetings that I need for that day. At 9am I catch up with my student to ensure she is aware of her diary commitments for the day and to make she sure is aware of what is required for each task. I then attend my first meeting of a day; a core group meeting for 4 child subject to a child protection plan. Following this, I undertake unannounced home visits to families on child in need plan and a child protection plan. I return to the office for lunch and then meet with my student for supervision where we discuss the cases she is co-working and how this links to theory such as child centred practice and solution focussed.

The toughest problem in my role is diary management and meeting deadlines to ensure delay does not occur for children. At times this means being flexible with working hours to achieve all of the deadlines.

The most rewarding part of being a Social Worker is seeing parents making changes; being internally motivated to make change and seeing children’s behaviour and presentation changing and improving. Sometimes this cannot being achieved with parents which leads to children being placed with family members, long term foster care or adoption. It is rewarding to see children thriving in such placements.

The South Yorkshire Teaching partnership has supported my role as a Practice Educator to understand the framework which students are required to meet, understanding the process of placements and procedure when there is a disagreement.