Practice Education

GMSWA Practice Education

GMSWA is committed to developing highly skilled Practice Educators across our region. GMSWA have a Practice Learning Steering Group which is chaired by:

Lisa Cassidy

Workforce Development Lead/ Practice Educator/ Trainer at Bolton Council

Su McCaughan

Lecturer in Social Work/ Placement Lead at University of Salford.

Lynda McDonald

Senior Lecturer in Social Work/ Practice Learning Team at Manchester Metropolitan University.
We have a sub group focussed on Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS – BASW), chaired by Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS)

These groups involve workforce development leads/ practice consultants/ advanced practice educators/ practice assessors from across all our 10 local authority partners and senior lecturers/ tutors and placement teams from all 4 of our Universities.

Together the group aim to support qualified social workers to develop their practice and careers to become Practice Educators to ensure that students have access to high quality learning experiences when on placement.

The purpose of the group is to monitor and facilitate placement learning, capacity and quality across our region. This includes:
  • Track placement quality and capacity
  • Ensure service level agreements for placements
  • Facilitate and monitor the training of practice educators at all levels
  • Develop and facilitate training and CPD for our Practice Educator community in Greater Manchester.

Role of a Practice Educator

  • Managing student development and skills
  • Preparation of the team for the student placement
  • Liaison with internal and external services, professionals and colleagues to ensure effective opportunity and support for the student
  • Ensuring the student adheres to relevant policies and procedures
  • Taking responsibility for the co-ordination of events in the case of any concerns arising during the placement
  • Attendance at relevant meetings relating to placement (pre-placement, mid-placement and possibly final-placement meeting
  • Ensuring accountability arrangements are clear and that effective line management is in place
  • Ensuring the student has essential equipment for work.

  • Develop an effective learning agreement and curriculum
  • Arrange appropriate induction plan
  • Identification of learning opportunities
  • Ensuring the student received all necessary learning opportunities to achieve Professional Capabilities Framework and the Knowledge Skills Standards
  • Provide structured and reflective supervision sessions for the student on a regular basis (weekly or fortnightly)
  • Provide informal supervision, advice and guidance
  • Supporting the student to link University/Programme based learning to their practice on placement.

  • Direct observations of the student’s practice.
  • Provision of feedback to the student regarding practice.
  • Obtain feedback from relevant people on placement. E.G. Service Users, Internal and External Professionals.
  • Judge the evidence provided against the assessment criteria.
  • Writing reports in relation to the student’s progress on placement. Generally this is the Mid-Point and Final Report.
  • Make recommendations about whether the student has passed or failed the placement.

Practice Education/ PEPS Information:

Team Working

PEPS Refresh 2022 

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How is racism understood in literature about the experiences of black and minority ethnic social work students in Britain? A Conceptual review.​

Dr Dharman Jeyasingham and Dr Julie Morton (Social Work Education, 38 (5), pp 563-575)


This article presents findings from a study which explored the everyday ways race works on social work programmes in England. The study focused on how race was spoken about and conceptualised, how people were categorised and ordered according to race and the social interactions where race was understood by participants to be significant. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight social work lecturers and nineteen black social work students at two universities in England, to explore the following topics: classroom-based and practice learning, assessment and feedback, interactions between students and between students and educators, and university and practice agency cultures. Data were analysed using thematic analysis and the following themes identified: the routine interpellation of black students and communities in terms of absolute cultural differences, black students’ everyday experiences of marginalisation, hostility and othering, and the racialisation of black students in judgements made about their academic and practice performance. The article concludes that social work education must engage more deeply with contemporary theorisations of race and culture, and that social work educators need a reflexive understanding of how notions such as diversity, equality and universal academic standards are put into practice in ways that marginalise and devalue black students.

Link to Research Article:

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Children’s social workers agile working practice and experiences beyond the office

Dr Dharman Jeyasingham, The British Journal of Social Work, Volume 49, Issue 3, April 2019, Pages 559-576,


Agile working (flexibility around practitioners’ roles and the location and time of work) is increasingly common across local authority social work in the UK but there is little evidence about the practices it entails, with the small amount of existing research concerned largely with its impact on office environments. This article presents findings from a qualitative exploratory study of eleven social workers’ practices and experiences when engaged in agile working away from office spaces. Data were generated through practitioner diaries, photographs elicited from practitioners and semi-structured interviews, and were analysed using a grounded theory approach. The study found practitioners engaged in agile working in a wide range of domestic, leisure and formal work environments across the public–private continuum. This gave them superficial control over how they worked, in particular the freedom to work in solitude and establish distance between themselves and perceived demands from service users and other practitioners. However, agile working also involved a wider range of material practices and affective experiences for practitioners. These changes provoke questions about data security, increased visibility and unanticipated encounters in public spaces, and the shifting relationship between information-management work and elements of practice involving face-to-face interaction with others.

Link to Research Article: Seeking Solitude and Distance from Others: Children’s Social Workers’ Agile Working Practices and Experiences beyond the Office | The British Journal of Social Work | Oxford Academic (

Dr Dharman Jeyasingham of University of Manchester was the lead the ESRC funded project “Becoming agile in local authority children’s safeguarding social work services: examining organisational and individual change in public sector social work”. Details on this project can be found here: GtR (

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Not Ageing Out of Violence? Older Mens Biographical Narratives of Their Abuse and Violence in Intimate Relationships With Female Partners

Bellamy, C. Struthers, M and Green, L (2023) Cited in Bows, H. (ed) Not Your Usual Suspect: Older Offenders of Violence (Feminist Developments in Violence and Abuse), Emerald Publishing limited, Bingley, pp. 105-119
Drawing on empirical research which incorporated biographical interviews with two older male perpetrators, this chapter develops theoretical conceptualisations of the histories, experiences and motives of these men. Four key areas are highlighted, which will be subject to closer scrutiny in relation to extant literature: (i) gender, particularly notions of masculinity, power and entitlement; (ii) attitudes relating to the use of violence both within intimate relationships and generally (iii) critical junctures in the life course which triggered attempts to desist; and (iv) an exploration of maturation and completion of treatment programmes in relation to their use of violence, future risks and efforts towards desistance.

Link to Research Article: Not Ageing Out of Violence? Older Men's Biographical Narratives of Their Abuse and Violence in Intimate Relationships With Female Partners | Emerald Insight

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Exploring health and social care professional initial perceptions of caring for trans patients.

Kirlew MI, Lord H, Weber J (2020) Exploring health and social care professionals’ initial perceptions of caring for trans patients. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11383

Link to Research Article Resource:

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