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The pre-training characteristics of Frontline participants and mainstream social work students

Maxwell, Nina, Scourfield, Jonathan Bryn, Pithouse, Andrew, De Villiers, Teresa and Zhang, Meng 2017. The pre-training characteristics of Frontline participants and mainstream social work students. British Journal of Social Work 10.1093/bjsw/bcx042
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Frontline is a fast-track training scheme for social workers in children’s services in England, which aims to attract ‘outstanding’ graduates who may not previously have considered a career in social work. This implies that students recruited onto the Frontline programme will be of a higher academic quality than those on mainstream social work courses. This article presents findings from an independent evaluation of the Frontline pilot stage which compared the pre-training characteristics of Frontline participants with those of social work training enrolments in England for 2013–14, derived from Higher Education Statistics Agency data, the Frontline participant database and a questionnaire administered to postgraduate students in five ‘high-tariff’ universities. Frontline participants have significantly better prior academic qualifications than students on mainstream programmes. They are significantly younger, more likely to have parents who are graduates and more likely to have attended private schools. The Frontline programme has fewer minority ethnic students than mainstream programmes. Frontline’s objective of attracting those who may not have previously considered social work as a career has featured recruitment of a more socially advantaged and less diverse group of entrants. How likely Frontline trainees are to stay in the profession remains to be seen.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Uncontrolled Keywords: Education and training, fast-track, Frontline, social work training
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0045-3102
Last Modified: 29 Dec 2017 23:56

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