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Decision details

South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership Covid 19 Funding

Decision Maker: Executive Director, People Services

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The DfE 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. 


Sheffield City Council, as lead authority of the South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership, submitted an application in August 2020 for £139,329. The DfE have 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. The grant terms and conditions were sent on 25th January.



That the Executive Director – People Services


a)    Approves Sheffield City Council accepting Grant Funding in the sum of £139,329 from the DfE for the South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership and for Sheffield City Council to be the Accountable Body in respect of the grant on behalf of the South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership and for the funding to be utilised as detailed in this report.


b)    Approves the Council entering into a funding agreement with the DfE.


Reasons for the decision:

The purchase of IT equipment and phones for our social work students has allowed them to complete their mandatory university placements in order to pass their social work degree programmes and has allowed the placements to be blended by way of part working with service users and part working from home due to restricted access to worksites during the Covid-19 pandemic.


The learning that students have missed due to curtailment of placements will be replaced by additional virtual workshops provided by the Teaching partnership local authorities.  This includes additional virtual tuition from the University.


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.  It has not been possible to replicate these virtually due to key speakers no longer being available. The DfE funding for loss of income generation supports the Teaching Partnership masterclass funds which will allow the budget to balance.


The provision of funding to support the backfill of social work apprentices for an extended period has allowed services to retain trained agency workers which has been not only more cost effective and efficient but has provided consistent support to young people and those leaving care.


Alternative options considered:

SYTP is one of the leading Social Work Teaching Partnerships in the country.  We have two prestigious Universities in our partnership and meet Partner local authorities monthly to discuss strategies and contingency planning. 


All University teaching and placements were paused in March 2020 and as a Partnership we spent two months converting worksite placements into virtual placements and purchased IT equipment and mobiles so that students were not disadvantaged. 


We converted all face -to- face training onto an online platform so that business could continue as usual.


No other option could be considered as students would have failed their degree programmes which would have led to legal implication s for Universities and damage to our partnership’s reputation.  Our local universities are our supply chain for newly qualified social workers as most students who study in Sheffield wish to remain and be employed in Sheffield.  The support given to students who have had their placement curtailed by the impact of the pandemic has allowed us to fulfil our recruitment and retention strategy of employing and training newly qualified social workers.


Publication date: 10/02/2021

Date of decision: 08/02/2021

Accompanying Documents: