Developing Together Social Work  Teaching Partnership

Step Up to Social Work

Applications for Cohort 7 (January 2022 programme start) are now closed. Please check the Department for Education website for updates about future cohorts. Usually, the programme runs once every two years.

We are delighted to share that this year, the Developing Together Social Work Teaching Partnership is opening up recruitment for Cohort 7 of the Step Up to Social Work programme. This brand new opportunity will offer 12 aspiring social workers the chance to train and qualify in 14 months with Kingston University London, Achieving for Children and the London Borough of Sutton.

This 14-month Step Up to Social Work programme will provide intensive, hands-on experience of working in a real-life social work role through placements in a local authority. Once you’ve successfully completed the course, you’ll be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work, enabling you to register and practice as a social worker.

This is a unique opportunity to earn while you learn, as the Department for Education provides funding via a tax-free bursary payment of £19,833, over the duration of the programme, and payment of University fees for successful applicants. 

We are looking for strong graduates who have experience of working with vulnerable children, young people, families or adults and who can demonstrate their maturity and emotional resilience. We are particularly interested in applications from men and from BAME candidates, as these groups are under-represented in this area of social work.

Online applications will open from 15 February to 7 April 2021, followed by regional assessment centres for candidates successful at the initial application stage. Students can expect to start the programme in January 2022, completing their training in March 2023.

Why choose us?
Studying and working within the Developing Together Social Work Teaching Partnership offers aspiring social workers a whole host of unique benefits.

Kingston University is the Teaching Partnership’s academic partner, meaning they work collaboratively with seven local authorities and two voluntary sector agencies across South West London & Surrey. Benefits to students include being taught in the classroom by Teaching Consultants, who are practising social workers and will bring theory to life with their front-line experiences. Our Teaching Partnership is lucky enough to have over 20 Teaching Consultants; more than enough to go around!

On the Step Up to Social Work programme you will be taught in the award-winning Practice Learning Suite by well-established and published academics who have practice and research experience in social work, and the Teaching Consultants. You can find out more about this fantastic learning opportunity here.

Kingston University will also pay for your professional student membership of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) during your course.

One of the key advantages to studying within our Teaching Partnership is the access you will have to stimulating and rewarding practice placements in the local region. Placements will be allocated within either Achieving for Children (delivering statutory children’s services for Kingston, Richmond and Windsor & Maidenhead) or London Borough of Sutton. All boroughs have an Ofsted rating of Good or above and students will be exposed to a range of safeguarding issues, including child abuse & neglect. Placements are available within most teams, for example: assessment, intervention, youth offending, leaving care, disabilities etc. *the different boroughs use different team names. We also offer students the chance to access valuable experience in the voluntary sector by spending a number of placement days with National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), Welcare or Citizens Advice Sutton.

Placements are also supported by our Partnership Practice Consultants and overseen by a group of representatives from across the Partnership to ensure quality and consistency of Practice Education. More information about our Practice Education within our Partnership can be found here.

When the time comes to apply to become a newly qualified social worker (NQSW), employability skills workshops are hosted by the Partnership to maximise your chances of securing employment upon completion of your course. These sessions include practical advice and guidance on writing your CV, interview questions and tips, interview practice and what to expect from the Assessed and Support Year in Employment (ASYE).

Once employed as an NQSW, you’ll have access to an excellent ASYE programme that exceeds national requirements. After your ASYE, as part of your career journey, you’ll transition onto our Early Professional Development Framework which offers a comprehensive range of varied learning and support opportunities to allow you to develop as a qualified social worker and build resilience, professional curiosity, leadership, mentoring and project skills. Beyond this, you’ll also be able to take advantage of our social work specific Career Pathways & Continuing Professional Development Framework, which was developed collaboratively with local employers and the University in order to provide social workers with a clear illustration of their possible progression routes. All social workers have access to a fantastic learning and development offer through the local authority, as well as the Teaching Partnership’s annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) offer.

For more information:

Visit Step Up to Social Work: information for applicants

Find out what it’s like to work for Achieving for Children and the London Borough of Sutton.

Find out more about Kingston University.

See here for a timetable of the process.

If you have any questions, or want more information about studying and working with us, please contact us at: