The Department for Education has now released information about the management structure of new regulator, Social Work England (SWE), after it was threatened with an investigation by the Freedom Of Information team. The response claims that the information was prepared and sent within FOI’s timeframe, though it was never filed with the site.

Researching Reform made a Freedom Of Information Request on 26th February, asking for a breakdown of the management team at SWE, after the Department for Education failed to offer this information in earlier email exchanges with Researching Reform. The Department then failed to reply to the FOI request, leaving Researching Reform no choice but to engage FOI’s investigation process.

A reply was finally offered today. The cover letter incorrectly claims that the government submitted a response on 15th March, which clearly isn’t the case. The letter also says that a Chair for SWE hasn’t been chosen, however Lord Patel was confirmed as the new body’s chairman last month. This may have been the case if the response had been written before the official announcement was made on 20th March, though the response itself has not appeared on the FOI site before today.

The government’s awkward attempt at backtracking aside, as the Chair has now been chosen, it is likely that the process to appoint the non-executive Board members has begun. The recruitment process for a CEO is also, presumably, underway.

The document attached to the letter offers a breakdown of individuals, groups, organisations and MPs all currently on board as advisers and experts:

Dear Natasha Phillips,

Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 26 February 2018. You requested a full breakdown of the management team at Social Work England.  I have dealt with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The Social Work England (SWE) management team is not yet in place. It will include a Chair, a CEO and a Board. 

We hope to appoint a Chair shortly and the process to recruit a CEO is underway.  Once the Chair is in post, the process to appoint the non-executive Board members will begin.

Politicians overseeing SWE are:

  • The Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education
  • Nadhim Zahawi, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families
  • The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health & Social Care
  • Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Care

We have defined “SWE Partners” as meaning stakeholders we have worked with in the design and development of Social Work England. This includes the SWE Advisory Group and the SWE Regulatory Group.

The SWE Advisory Group includes key organisations from across the social work sector, employer representatives, education providers and service users. The current membership comprises representatives of the following organisations:

  • Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
  • Association of Directors of Children’s Services
  • Association of Professors of Social Work
  • British Association of Social Workers
  • Joint University Council – Social Work Education Committee 
  • Local Government Association
  • Professional Standards Authority
  • Principal Child and Family Social Worker Network
  • Principal Adult Social Worker Network
  • Unison
  • Shaping Our Lives
  • Become
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
  • General Pharmaceutical Council.

The Regulator Expert Group membership includes representation from a number of professional regulators. The current membership comprises representatives of the following organisations:

  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
  • General Medical Council
  • Banking Standards Board
  • General Osteopathic Council
  • General Pharmaceutical Council
  • Professional Standards Authority
  • General Chiropractic Council
  • General Dental Council
  • Solicitors Regulation Authority
  • General Optical Council
  • Law Commission
  • Legal Services Board

FOI