NESWA Practice Educators Conference

Monday 18th June 2018

9.30 to 4pm | Gateshead | The Dryden Centre - NE9 5UR

Neswa held its first ever Practice Education Conference in June to great success.

The day was designed to celebrate "Practice Educators as Co-Educators" and welcomed social workers, academics, service users and more to the North East. For many this was the first time an event such as this had been held in the region and provided a wonderful opportunity for an exchange of ideas and good practice that practitioners will carry with them back to their own patch.

The day itself went to plan (even with an unexpected fire drill) and attendees noted the variety of guest speakers and workshops on offer, whilst maintaining a clear social work focus.

Here at NESWA, we would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to the day including our wonderful guest speakers - Professor David Croisdale-Appleby, Dr. Jenny Simpson (Open University) and our very own Helen Woolley! (Regional Placement Coordinator). We would also like to thank all the practitioners and professionals who ran workshops throughout the day (we are busy collecting materials to post on this page).

We also thank all the organisations that came and set up stalls for attendees to visit and steal a free pen from - they had some fantastic materials to share.

Finally, we would like to thank YOU for coming and attending our PE Conference! We certainly enjoyed hosting the event and hope that people took a lot of positive experiences away with you.

As part of our 2018-19 partnership bid, we agreed to organise a similar conference in 2019, so watch this space....

Thank you very much for all your handy feedback. according to you:

83% of attendees rated the Event Content either 'Good' or 'Excellent'

93% found accessibility to the venue either 'Good' or 'Excellent'

82% rated the venue either 'Good' or 'Excellent' (Big shout out to Paul & the Team at the Dryden Centre, Gateshead for all their help and hospitality)

93% of you thought our organisation was either 'Good' or 'Excellent'

93% of attendees rated the overall event as either 'Good' or 'Excellent'

Why should you become a practice educator?

"It is rewarding seeing Social Work Students develop and progress"

"Interesting, Rewarding, Challenging"

"It improves your own practice"

"Helps enforce why you do the job"

"It's a fulfilling role"

"It's excellent in terms of developing a learning culture within an organisation"

"If you believe in your profession, train to become a PE"

"Todays event has heightened my awareness of the passion and commitment of Practice Educators"

Materials from the day:

A lot of people asked us if we could provide materials shown by guest speakers and workshop organisers throughout the event. Below is a collection of materials we have available at present and we hope to add more over time:

Prof. David Croisdale-Appleby Pres.

Dr. Jenny Simpson Pres.

Dr. Sui-Ting Kong & Dr. Jane Wistow Workshop

Working with the weak or failing student

Offers & further Reading:


CareKnowledge is an information and professional development web-service supporting Practice Educators, Academics, Social Workers and the Social Care Sector. CareKnowledge gives you unlimited on-line access to expert evidence-based information across the whole spectrum of Children's and Adults Social Work Practice. Please visit -

Please note, you will need a licence for CareKnowledge to view these resources. For a free 10-day trial for yourself or your organisation, please contact Tony Smith (CareKnowledge North East Business Development Manager) -


The good folks at NICE have sent us a couple of helpful links for people to access along with their website (See below).

The first link is for the NICE Evidence Search Tool which is a free resource to use -

Evidence search provides access to selected and authoritative evidence in health, social care and public health

  • Combines evidence on health, drugs and technologies, public health, social care and healthcare management and commissioning in one place
  • Brings together high quality consolidated and synthesised evidence from hundreds of trusted sources
  • Includes guidance, systematic reviews, evidence summaries and patient information
  • Freely available, without needing to log in
  • Content is refreshed regularly and up to date
  • Full text of the search results can be freely obtained in most cases
  • Offers filters to manage search results, allowing access to relevant information more quickly

We also have a link to the NICE Social Care Update which you can find at


Below is an electronic copy of the offer that MeLearning had kindly provided as an exclusive to NESWA.

Exclusive offer for NESWA

Please visit the MeLearning website on the link below for a full catalogue of training programmes that are on offer including:

  • Safeguarding Children
  • Safeguarding Adults
  • Mental Capacity Act (2005)
  • Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Human Trafficking and Modern day Slavery
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Care Certificate


Community Care Inform

Community Care Inform now offers a wealth of information for Practice Educators - either to help build your own skills as a Practice Educator or to build the core skills and to develop specialist skills for your mentees/students.

For the Children's website, please visit

For Adults, please visit

Please note that you will need a licence for Community Care Inform to view these resources. If you'd like to arrange a licence for your own use, please contact Community Care Inform's client partner for the North East - and she can advise on activating a licence in your organisation.

Here at NESWA we rely on your feedback and support to inform the work that we do and how we develop social work in the North East.

To that end, we have two links below which we appreciate if you complete and circulate to other social workers to also complete.

The first is a survey developed by NESWA in order to collate a register of Practice Educators in the region. As a partnership, we are tasked with ensuring that we meet the needs of the next generation of social workers and as such, want to ensure that the number of Practice Educators continues to grow in the North East.

The second link is to a survey as part of a project being ran by Jenny Simpson (Open University) in partnership with NESWA. This is looking at how we can improve CPD opportunities for Practice Educators and what mechanisms of support are in place currently.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation.

It's Our Social Work

A Special thanks to the following for their support during the event...why not click on a link and check them out?

Conference Programme


Felicity Shenton – Project Manager NESWA

Guest speakers

Professor David Croisdale – Appleby

Professor Croisdale-Appleby was appointed by the government to conduct an Independent Review into Social Work Education, Re-Visioning Social Work Education published in 2014 which forms the basis of the current reforms.

Jenny Simpson
Head of Social Work England at the Open University

Jenny took up post as Head of Social Work (England) in September 2017.  Previously she worked as a regional academic manager working for The Open University, on its undergraduate social work programme in the south of England. As a social work practitioner, she specialised in children and family social work, in particular foster care. She has also worked extensively with educational establishments in the area of child protection and building resilience in Looked After Children. 

Helen Woolley
NESWA Regional Placement Co-Ordinator 

Helen qualified as a social worker in 1990 and has been working both in the UK and internationally since that time as a social worker, team manager, consultant and academic.  Since 1995 she has been a qualified practice educator and supported the development of students and educators through her work in Local Authorities, Universities and International teaching partnerships.  


WORKSHOPS (final workshop outlines tbc)

  1. I. Models of Practice Education (Middlesbrough Council & Teesside University)
  2. II. Supporting Practice Educators - The Open University Oxfordshire Model (Jenny Simpson - Open University)
  3. III. Failing Student - Janet Lancefield & Pauline Kewley (OSPEs)
  4. IV. Tools and Resources to support Practice Educators - Rebekkah Tabern (Community Care Inform)
  5. V. Developing PVI Placements - Tracey Welsh (Children North East) & Jeannine Hughes (Northumbria University)


Poster presentations, publishers stalls, tools and resources 

Guest speakers

Steph Downey (Chair of NESWA Projects Board)

Suzie Cooper
(on behalf of the National Organisation for Practice Teaching) 

Suzie is the Principal Social Worker (Adult Services) and Social Work Education & Development Officer / Research Governance Lead (Adult Services) for Newcastle City Council.

Dr Sui-Ting Kong & Dr Jane Wistow (Durham University)


  1. I. Practice Education in Darlington - Joseph Robb (Darlington Borough Council)
  2. II. Student Placement Documentation Project - Stephen Mordue (University of Sunderland)
  3. III. Failing Students - Janet Lancefield & Pauline Kewley (OSPEs)
  4. IV. Training research-minded practitioners by looking at the role of Practice Educators - Dr Sui-Ting Kong & Dr Jane Wistow (Durham University)
  5. V. CareKnowledge - Supporting Practice Educators, Academics, Students, Social Workers and the Social Care Sector - Tony Smith (CareKnowledge)


Next Steps

Feedback from the PEPS Review - Keri O'Riordan (BASW)

Plans from NESWA - Felicity Shenton (NESWA Project Manager)

PE Site on the NESWA Website - Glenn Dunnett (NESWA Project Administrator)


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