Developing Together Social Work  Teaching Partnership

Blog Post: My Teaching Consultant Experience


By Sue Connell, Professional Practice Development Assessor in Wandsworth Children’s Social Care Academy

Hi, my name is Sue Connell. I’m a Professional Practice Development Assessor in Wandsworth Children’s Social Care Academy. I work with Newly Qualified Social Workers, on the ASYE Programme. I am also a Teaching Consultant (TC), as part of the Developing Together Teaching Partnership (TP). The TP is funded by the Department for Education, aimed at improving social work education. We are linked with other local authorities and organisations (such as NSPCC) and our HEI is Kingston University.

My role as a TC involves working with students during different stages of their journey through social work training, including the recruitment of students to the social work programmes alongside tutors and People with Lived Experience (PLEs), bringing a rounded input to student recruitment. I also support theory to practice workshops and participate in lectures, giving anonymised case examples to bring learning to life. I really enjoy being part of readiness to practice, and this has involved role play and giving feedback on students as they interview each other as part of their module. I’ve also given talks on the use of supervision on placement and I’m a Practice Educator (PE) too, so it has been great participating in PE learning – both face to face and virtual.

I have dyslexia and have used this experience to co-facilitate the Working with Individual Difference workshops for Practice Educators and Line Managers alongside the TP’s Practice Consultants. During the first lockdown, we brought in extra reflections around self-care and emotional wellbeing.

As part of being a TC, we have completed some training around teaching theory. That was followed by an optional module to reflect on those teaching experiences. As part of this we made an application to be an associate fellow (AFHEA).

I love working with students and staff and enhancing the learning of others. This is what motivated me to apply. I really didn’t know what to expect. It has been amazing, and I have learned so much.

My advice if you are thinking about becoming a Teaching Consultant – go for it! There’s no time to be shy. I am so thrilled to see the improved outcomes – especially during these times of global pandemic. It’s a great example of what working together can bring.