Oxford graduates flock to Frontline


Children’s social work charity Frontline has reported having received over 100 applications to its Leadership Development Programme from Oxford finalists over the course of last year.

In a press release, the charity welcomed the dramatic increase in Oxonian interest in social work from 2011, when only five Oxbridge finalists went on to do social work masters courses.

A Frontline spokesperson told Cherwell, “This is a remarkable shift from a few years ago. The large number of Oxford students applying to the Frontline graduate programme reflects the desire of many Oxford students to enter a career which makes a positive social impact and helps change the lives of some of the UK’s most vulnerable children”.

Frontline offers a two-year graduate Leadership Development Programme where participants train for 12 months, then start their second years as qualified social workers. Francis Goodburn, a Computer Scientist at St John’s College enrolled on the course, told Cherwell he was looking for a job where he would know “what I am doing is truly worthwhile”.

He added, “I don’t think anyone with half a heart could argue that there is a task much more worthwhile than protecting our society’s most vulnerable children from abuse and neglect, and as anyone who has read the news recently will know – with several tragic cases of children’s deaths due to abuse or neglect from their guardians – there certainly couldn’t be a more challenging job, particularly with the recent cuts to local authority funding”.

Some have criticised Frontline’s targeting of Oxbridge and Russell Group universities. One online commentator wrote, “[Frontline recruitment] is based on an elitist model where some universities are ‘better’ than others… I don’t think the university you go to defines your quality of potential for social work or your intelligence and ability to critically analyse and reflect.”


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