15% of Social Work degree students drop out in 2009

Posted on July 26th, 2010

Nearly one in seven Social Work degree students failed to complete their course in 2008-9,
claims a recent General Social Care Council (GSCC) report. The GSCC asked universities
and colleges for the number of students enrolled on to Social Work degree courses. They
also asked for the numbers that did not pass or progress at the end of the academic year.

Community Care analysed the reports, and found that of the 14,550 students enrolled,
2,170 failed to progress on finishing the 2008-9 academic year. It has been suggested that
this figure was not entirely due to academic reasons, with a proportion of the blame being
passed onto other factors such as delayed placements.

Kingston University had the highest non-completion rate of all institutions offering degrees in
Social Work. Edge Hill University was the only institution to report a 100% completion rate,
which may be due to the small size of the course with only 25 students in 2008-9.

Other suggested factors are illness and maternity leave. Professor of Social Work Jill
Manthorpe, who is also the director of the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s
College said “Our work has shown that the non-completion rate is a complex interaction
between institutional and student factors.”


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