A REQUEST FOR £139,329 by the South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership’s for Grant Funding was recently approved ensuring that the Sheffield City Council enters into a funding agreement with the Department of Education.
Sheffield City Council is the lead authority for the South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership which has not been funded since March 2018.
The Department of Education invited all Social Work Teaching Partnerships to submit an application for additional funding to support services that have been disadvantaged as a result of the pandemic.
Dorothy Smith, Lead Officer of the report, said: “Our sustainability plan has gone awry due to the impact of Covid- 19.”
She stressed the great need for the purchase of IT equipment and phones for students to complete their mandatory placements to pass their degree programs. These allowed the blended placements to be partly working with service users and partly working from home.
Zoey Zheng, a student from the University of Sheffield, said: “My mobile phone and computer become inseparable for all my study and placement. I gradually get used to and even rely on the online learning mode, which is more convenient than a hindrance for me.”
Ms Smith said: “The Teaching Partnership income generation plan has failed this financial year due to not being able to deliver face-to-face masterclass sessions for which places were previously charged. The Department of Education funding for loss of income generation supports the Teaching Partnership budget to balance. ”
According to the report, the virtual placement and CPD programs have impacted budgets. Influences included the 6-month halt of Social Work apprenticeship programs and the cancellation of 12 student workshops over the summer.
Ms Smith said: “Our key area of focus will be contingency planning for the next two years in order that we can deliver programs in many different ways i.e. face to face, virtual or blended so that in any eventuality we can continue business as usual.”
She also mentioned the impact on all educational trainers and lectures as they had to develop new skills of IT and remote teaching. There had been great pressure on Teaching partnership local authorities to provide additional virtual workshops and virtual tuition from the University.
The Department has confirmed that they have agreed this application and will provide this funding as a grant award under section 46 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017 during the 2020/21 financial year.