• An exploration of issues affecting the assessment of social work students on practice placement in England

      Caffrey, Bridget; Fruin, Helen; University of Chester (Whiting and Birch, 2019)
      This article explores issues affecting assessment of social work students on practice placements in England. The authors have many years of experience in this area of social work and aim to highlight concerns about the complexity of assessment in practice settings. This report draws on research presented by Bailey-McHale and Caffrey (2018) at the 12th International Conference on Practice Teaching and Field Education in Health and Social Work in order to consider student perspectives. These highlight a sense of feeling powerless and judged. This article also explores the wider issues potentially impacting on the assessment of students practice. Acknowledging the challenges of all assessments, we consider how assessment of student practice may be further complicated by factors including the role and demands of universities, the impact of training and support for practice educators and pressures within current social work practice. This commentary highlights longstanding inequalities within social work assessment on placements for some student groups, including BAME students. The authors draw on Brookfield’s (1998) reflective lenses and encourage the social work profession to reflect and consider how current practice might be improved. The authors invite ideas and feedback to stimulate a professional debate and new ideas.