Latest Public Sector News


BASW: Nine out of ten social workers want an independent regulator

Almost 90% of social workers in England believe that regulation of their work should stay independent of government, according to a new poll of the profession.

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) surveyed 1,100 of its members and found that 74% supported the creation of a new bespoke regulator for the profession, while only 24% wished to remain with the current regulator, the Health and Care Professions Council. 

The survey looked to gauge opinions towards proposals made in the upcoming Children and Social Work Bill, including a new regulatory body called ‘Social Work England’ and controversial ‘power to innovate’ clauses which will allow local authorities to opt out of certain statutory duties to children in the name of ‘innovation’.

BASW chief executive Dr Ruth Allen said: “The survey shows very starkly that the majority of social workers see key proposals in the bill as unwelcome impositions. They want professional respect. A regulator independent of undue government interference is essential.”

Over three quarters of BASW members (76%) disagreed with the DfE’s proposals behind the ‘power to innovate’ clauses, which will be decided by the department. Only 16% agreed with the proposals.

Concerns raised by social workers who completed the survey included the long-term affordability of the sector, governance, and the lack of prior consultation of social workers in the drafting of the Children and Social Work Bill.

When asked what they thought is needed to improve children’s services, respondents most often cited the ability to work with families, time, and additional resources, with BASW saying that this demonstrated how the quality of social work is being affected by government austerity measures.

“The profession cannot and will not accept a lip service approach to engagement that keeps the majority of the profession marginalised and silenced. This cannot be productive,” Dr Allen said.

“Imposing reform on the profession without proactive discussion and due legislative process cannot lead to successful, progressive and sustainable change. BASW will continue to push for positive, inclusive developments and we will stay ahead in this political environment so our members are not disenfranchised.”

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Some libraries are better than others

Some libraries are better than others

Helen Milner, chief executive of Good Things Foundation, formerly the Tinder Foundation, expands on the organisation’s recent claims that protecting libraries at all costs could be holdin more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Lessons from Germany to fix the UK’s housing crisis

06/01/2017Lessons from Germany to fix the UK’s housing crisis

Dr Charlotte Snelling, a researcher at IPPR, and Ed Turner, senior lecturer... more >
Greater investment and collaboration needed to tackle pothole repair backlog

06/01/2017Greater investment and collaboration needed to tackle pothole repair backlog

Cllr Martin Tett, leader of Buckinghamshire County Council and transport sp... more >


McMahon: I worry that the public are not part of the devolution conversation

20/12/2016McMahon: I worry that the public are not part of the devolution conversation

Jim McMahon, Labour’s shadow minister for local government and devolu... more >

the raven's daily blog

Will we see more staff freezes to meet the financial challenge?

09/01/2017Will we see more staff freezes to meet the financial challenge?

A staff freeze has been introduced at Devon County Council as local authorities propose increasingly radical measures to try to relieve financial pressures. The council a... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

20/12/2016No early Christmas presents

As the chancellor stood at the despatch box in late November, the public sector waited with bated breath at what support would be given to those that are working under extreme pressure. Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, Philip Hammond didn’t deliver any early Christmas presents for local government. And it is unlikely that we will see A Christmas Carol change of heart anytime soon.  Despite major calls from a plethora of organisations for the chancellor to deliver extra... read more >