Practice Educator of the Year


Claire Skilleter

ORGANISATION: Norfolk County Council

AWARD(S): Practice Educator of the Year

Claire has been a qualified practice educator since 2010, encouraging and developing student colleagues alongside her own professional practice as a social worker.


In 2017, she took up the role of Practice Education Lead at the Suffolk and Norfolk Teaching Partnership and, alongside her colleagues, built and shaped the role which now leads and facilitates Practice Education and student placement facilitation across Norfolk.


Working across Adult and Children’s Services, Claire’s role is multi -faceted and includes the planning and facilitation of monthly student hubs, practice education workshops, monthly check-ins, negotiating challenges, supporting students and Practice Educators when difficulties arise and mentoring trainee practice educators.


Claire’s commitment to developing students to become knowledgeable, kind and resilient social workers is demonstrated in the early placement self-care briefings she delivers to each student cohort. She has a deep and profound understanding of the facilitation of practice learning, and is noted for “working very hard and always going above and beyond, because she cares”. Students consistently evaluate Claire’s hubs highly, and additional feedback is frequent.


Hear from Claire in her own words below.





Wow! Claire demonstrates all of the qualities of a caring, passionate practitioner and practice educator. She clearly has all of the skills and knowledge to share and encourage the next generation of social workers.

Louise Walker MBE, Head of Social Work, Redcar and Cleveland Council

Claire's huge knowledge and expertise shines through all her work. She has an innovative and methodical approach to her role and evidences that she is constantly learning and reflecting on how she can further enhance student experiences, mentor and build knowledge.

Carol Long, Social Worker and Doctoral Researcher, Durham University

From the very beginning I felt able to talk to Claire and be open and honest - this is because of Claire’s relationship-based approach in which her kindness shines through. She has made me feel exactly how I would want the people I work with to feel when receiving my support.

Feedback from a Social Work Apprentice supported by Claire

It is a privilege to have Claire as a member of our team, she is hugely respected by all those who are lucky enough to work with her and benefit from her expertise in practice education. This year her amazing expertise in developing strong learning relationships has been highlighted as she continues to inspire and support others in the virtual world of Covid-19. Claire brilliantly adapted her teaching rapidly and seamlessly – adapting tools and resources and developing new ones to support Practice Educators and students’ reflective supervision and self-care.

Jane Hanrahan, Workforce Development Manager (Social Care), Norfolk County Council


Silver Award

Anne Cooper, Gloucestershire County Council

Laura Lowe, Dorset Council

Elaine Sharpe, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Peter Walker, Worcestershire County Council

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