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Timeline :: Strathclyde social work education origins


In 1967, the first Social Work course begins in Jordanhill College under the stewardship of Vera Hiddleston, an Edinburgh University alumna.

In addition to entry to standard applicants, during the very early in the life of the course, the Social Work Services Group of the Scottish Office approached the College to encourage the establishment of a route for mature entrants – those aged 30 and over. This quickly became known as the ‘change of career course’ and attracted entrants from occupations as diverse as nursing, sheet metal work and deep sea diving to name but a few. The entry requirements for this first course were 5 ‘O’ levels. 1973 heralded the development of the Certificate of Qualification in Social Work (CQSW) under the auspices of the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work (CCETSW).  From 1975 onward, there was collaboration with Glasgow University in the development and delivery of a course for Practice Teachers – perhaps a foretaste of future developments?

In 1994, Jordanhill College merged with Strathclyde University and social work training and education became a department in the Faculty of Education. For 20 years the courses in social work were developed and delivered on the green and pleasant campus of Jordanhill. The first course in Social Work Education was developed and delivered during this period - the first CCETSW accredited post-qualifying course in Scotland. 

In May 2003, the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde formally agreed that their respective Departments of Social Work should merge to form the Glasgow School of Social Work (GSSW). The practical arrangements for the new School were worked out over the subsequent months and, after a period of informal but very real and close collaboration, the GSSW finally and formally came into being on 1 August 2004. This development was the result of extensive discussions which had taken place (dating back to 2001) between the staffs of the two departments and which were based on a long history of fruitful collaboration, a high degree of complementarity of provision, and a strong view that the two departments would be better able to meet the challenges of the future together than separately. The development also reflected the wider and growing collaboration between the two universities in other areas of work.

Despite what was described by all parties as a fruitful and successful synergy, Glasgow University withdrew from the joint School in 2008 and so social work education in the West End of Glasgow became solely within the governance of Strathclyde University.

The current arrangements for undergraduate and post graduate qualifying courses are now located within the School of Social Work and Social Policy in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in the City Centre campus of Strathclyde. The School has close associations with CELCIS (Centre for Excellence Looked After Children in Scotland), CYCJ (Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice), The Institute for Inspiring Children Futures as well as many other cross University and cross sector partnerships including the Scottish Government in relation to the Equally Safe in Higher Education project, developing a toolkit in respect of the prevention of violence against women and girls on campus.

Source: Roisin McGoldrick, Teaching Fellow.