The first year of the Frontline programme is coming to an end, and our team are preparing for the second cohort to join us at the Summer Institute. I write this coming back from my last day of teaching our students in the North West. It seems a good time to reflect on the first 12 months of our journey.
Bringing the university into practice
The first year of a new programme is bound to be a learning process; mistakes, we’ve made a few. The two biggest were probably over-burdening the student social workers and not spending enough time structuring the delivery of academic input into placement. The burden on the students has been extraordinarily heavy. If academic assignments, portfolios and reflective writing are included then several have written around 100,000 words. That is more than your average book or PhD. All done on a course that involves virtually full-time work, and one where most of the marks are based on direct practice not written pieces. It is a credit to the students and the support they have received that 101 out of 104 are still on the programme.