To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the effect of the Frontline programme's requirement that local authorities limit the caseloads of programme participants on the effectiveness of that programme; if she will take that requirement into account when evaluating the programme's success; and if she will make it her policy to apply limits similar to those caseload limits to all newly-qualified social workers.
Participants on the Frontline programme attend an intensive summer institute at the beginning of the course. They are then placed within a local authority for two years’ hands-on experience, the first thirteen months of which they work in student units led by a consultant social worker.
During this period, Frontline participants are students and therefore not qualified social workers. As a result Frontline participants are not allocated an individual case load; the cases are allocated to the consultant social worker and students co-work the cases as appropriate. Following qualification at the end of the first year, Frontline participants are employed by the local authority, which decides caseloads for newly qualified social workers according to their local needs.
The Department is monitoring the success of the pilot as it develops to see if this concept could be applied more widely.