Practice Educator of the Year 2022


Carolyn Smith

ORGANISATION: Wakefield Council

AWARD(S): Practice Educator of the Year 2022


Carolyn Smith is a dedicated practice educator who takes the time to really get to know her students, placing their learning needs at the heart of all she does.  


Starting her role as ASYE and student lead for Wakefield Council’s Learning Academy in the midst of the pandemic in April 2020, Carolyn has made remarkable changes to the organisation’s offer for newly qualified social workers.  


This has included delivering specialist coaching and mentoring, ensuring students are matched with the best placement for them, and supporting with job applications and interview preparation. During the national lockdowns, she also offered weekly personal and reflective supervision to every student and ASYE. As a result, 80% final year students became ASYEs with Wakefield in 2020, 89% of final placement students became ASYEs in 2021, and 94% of final year students applied for ASYE posts with Wakefield in 2022.  


Carolyn’s development of Wakefield’s learning programme and work on recruitment is all the more notable given that it took place during a period of significant transformation for the local authority, which had received an inadequate rating in July 2018. In November last year, Wakefield moved to good with outstanding leadership.  


Valued by colleagues and students alike as a leader who goes above and beyond, Carolyn is a credit both to Wakefield Council and the social work profession. 


Supported by BASW.



Silver Award

Roz Ryder, Shropshire Council

Sue Powell, Essex County Council

Jackie Flynn, Essex County Council

Minette Moorhouse, Northumberland County Council

Laura Webb, Bedford Borough Council

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