South West

The Challenge



Covering the largest geographical area of any region in England and home to 5 million people, the South West has an incredibly varied array of communities and an equally varied set of social challenges. Though many areas in the region have little deprivation, it contains the worst area for social mobility in the UK. Around 18% of families in total live in poverty and the number of looked after children is increasing.



Key statistics



  • In the South West 65,370 children were in need throughout 2017–18 (UK GOV 2018).
  • West Somerset was ranked the worst local authority in England for social mobility and Weymouth and Portland came in third (UK GOV 2017).
  • 81% of children in need in the South West did not achieve grade 4 or above in English and Maths at GCSE (UK GOV 2017).
  • Over 1 in 20 looked after children in the South West have been convicted of a crime before their 18th birthday, rising to 1 in 10 in Bristol and Swindon (UK GOV 2016).



Living here



The South West is a fantastic location for Frontline participants, it is a geographically diverse region with some great cities, access to some of the best countryside, and of course beaches, in the country. Local authorities here are striving to provide high quality services for children and families and to offer a great environment for social work practitioners.



Key benefits of living in the region




  • Miles of beautiful coastline and beaches, two national parks, four World Heritage sites and some of the best weather in the UK.
  • Eight distinct and varied cities, ranging from the bustling creative hub of Bristol to the tiny, picturesque Wells, the smallest city in England.
  • A rich and diverse heritage cultural heritage, from Glastonbury Tor and the legends of King Arthur, to the writing of Daphne du Maurier and Agatha Christie.