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Is it the individual student who fails to progress or the individual programme that fails to respond?

Paper presented at 2009 JSWEC Conference. Social work courses recruit a higher proportion of students from different black and minority groups than many other courses. However, national statistics continue to demonstrate that some groups of students do not progress through social work training at the same rate as other students. Students from black and ethnic minority groups and disabled students have a significantly higher rate of referral and deferral than other groups of students and the recruitment, progression and achievement of men is worsening. Representatives from the GSCC multi-agency project group Diversity, Progression and Achievement which includes students, people who use services, carers, programme providers and other stakeholders will share their understanding of the recent findings from the research carried out by the Social Care Workforce Research Unit (Hussein et al 2009) with whom they have been collaborating. Further evidence will be presented from the latest social work degree annual monitoring exercise carried out by the GSCC. This examines what HEIs report they are doing to support vulnerable groups. Initial analysis suggests that problems in progression are more likely to be identified and responded to as individual issues. The paper explores what the implications are for universities, students, stakeholders and the regulatory body and poses How effectively are universities responding to the needs of those groups who are not progressing as they should? How can the GSCC become more effective in regulating and promoting equality requirements? How can HEIs continue to measure, monitor and improve their own progress in this area? Reference: Shereen Hussein, Jo Moriarty, Jill Manthorpe (2009) Variations in the Progression of Social Work Students in England, Social Care Workforce Research Unit, Kings College London/ General Social Care Council Full report - www.gscc.org.uk/NR/rdonlyres/B5A5B087-E7B9-471C-BAAF-207DA1FBE1DA/0/Progression_analysis_FT_UG.pdf Executive Summary - www.gscc.org.uk/NR/rdonlyres/E4482365-4F9F-46F0-9238-A030302E0ED7/0/Progression_analysis_FT_UG_0305__Executive_Summary.pdf

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