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Consulation on new ways of funding social work placements announced

A consultation has been launched to look at new ways of funding placements for social work students to make sure money is spent most efficiently and provides students with excellent learning opportunities.

The consultation will ask for people’s views on how the Education Support Grant (ESG) could be structured to make sure it operates within its £28 million budget. The grant has been running increasingly over budget year on year and the current annual overspend is approximately £3 million.

It will also look at how the quality of placements can be improved as a result of these proposals. This includes looking at giving higher education institutes more flexibility over how this grant is spent, so they can reward the providers that offer high quality placements or work with others to improve standards. This will ensure every social work student has access to high quality practical experience before they begin their career.

The consultation will ask for people’s views on:

  • Different options for how the ESG can be used to fund placements fairly and equally without exceeding the budget
  • Ways of bringing in greater financial control over the ESG budget
  • Ways of improving the quality of placements alongside funding changes
  • How we can make sure the ESG is used to provide social work students with the most valuable learning opportunities

Currently, the Government makes a direct contribution to social work education of approximately £100 million comprising the social work bursary and ESG.

Friday 13 September 2013

More information to be found on http://www.gov.uk