This post marks the end of an exhilarating and exhausting year for Frontline. The last twelve months has seen Frontline develop from a mere idea into a new organisation recruiting our first cohort. We end the year with enthusiastic cross-party political support, an innovative university partnership, thousands of applications and a fantastic staff team. Support from other charities, philanthropists and corporate partners has made this rapid progress possible.
So what have our major landmarks been this year? In May, the Department for Education announced that it would be providing major funding for the Frontline programme. This was followed by our head office opening in June and then our official launch event in September which included speeches from the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove MP, Frontline Chair Lord Adonis, and Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, Isabelle Trowler. The star was Jerome Harvey-Agyei, a care leaver and participation worker who told us just how important life changing social workers are.
On the 30 September our applications opened for the first time and since then we have been searching for outstanding candidates to join our leadership development programme. This autumn we attended numerous universities careers events across Britain and received thousands of applications. It really has been exciting to see so many students and graduates committed to the challenge of transforming some of the most vulnerable children’s lives through social work.
I’d like to thank everyone who has applied to Frontline. I’m aware that we have had to disappoint many of you, such is the tough competition for places and rigorous nature of our assessment centre, but I’d like to thank you for your enthusiasm and time. To those of you who we have offered a place, congratulations and we look forward to working with you as the first ever cohort.
If the past 12 months has been busy the year ahead will be frantic. Over the coming months we’ll complete our recruitment of participants for the programme while The Frontline Academy will continue building the academic programme for the start of the Summer Institute. The inaugural cohort will start in their local authority teams in September. The Frontline team will also be jointly interviewing Consultant Social Workers to lead the participant units and then training them before the start of September. For those wanting to apply for the second cohort, applications will open in autumn 2014.
After an eventful and successful 2013, all that is left for me to do is wish you good luck for the year ahead. Great social workers change lives for the most vulnerable in Britain and that’s why I want to leave you with this little reminder of why we’re so grateful for your continued support.
Onwards and upwards,