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Chris Sherrington

Practice Learning Facilitator

Bowland North



Tel: +44 1524 594451

Professional Role

Practice Learning Facilitator. (Placement Tutor)


My role is exclusively focussed on tutoring students who are  learning in the workplace and  experiencing their Social Work practice learning opportunities (placements). The biggest part of my role is the ongoing support with students and their social work practice educators. My work always involves meeting students and practitioners, acknowledging student accomplishment and personal learning needs whenever they arise. Central to this is offering encouraging feedback about progress and addressing in a timely and effective way the  problems encountered in practice if they arise.  I am keen to understand and appreciate the student's learning in the organisational context and the pressures that social work students  and practitioners face in their day to day working environments. I like to know from the student perspective what has made sense so far in the placement setting (and what hasn't), and linking  knowledge from the classroom  environment  into reflective practice with real outcomes that can make a difference in the lives of people who need care and support.



Career Details

My Background

After leaving school in 1979 I was unemployed for a while. I clearly recall being told on one fortnightly visit to the job centre that social care was not for men and was offered work repairing the recently opened M25. I declined this kind offer and saw my chances elsewhere to prove things differently by becoming a support worker with Volunteering Matters. http://volunteeringmatters.org.uk/

This gave me the opportunity of working with homeless men in a night shelter in Glasgow and this was my first real taste of working in social care.

I have worked since within the social care sector throughout my entire career. Some of the highlights so far have been contributing to the development of community support services for people with learning disabilities and working in the closure of institutional hospital based care. I have developed and managed voluntary sector housing and support services with people who are Deaf and have disabilities and within therapeutic community support with people who access mental health services. As a mature student and after several years of study on access courses I qualified as a social worker in 1995. During my own social work education I had my social work placements in a voluntary sector drug advice and support agency and with a mental health crisis intervention service. Post-qualification my practice has focussed on working in multi-disciplinary mental health services, firstly within a specialist mental health team for older adults, and within crisis intervention and community mental health services for adults, children and their families in North London, the Home Counties and Lancashire. I became involved in specialist social work with the issues facing parents with mental health problems. I have since practiced as an approved social worker and have post qualification awards in advanced social work practice and the practice teachers award.

 Latterly, until joining Lancaster University full time in 2014   I was employed by Cumbria County Council as their Professional Learning and Development Lead Officer. In this role I managed and developed resources for social work practitioners and students. My role's focus which still remains is to maintain links with employer partnerships to achieve recruitment of some of the best social work graduate’s to some of the regions hardest to -recruit-to communities. I enjoy my work with both students and qualified social work practitioners to progress their professional careers by focussing upon supervision, teaching, learning and assessment of practice in the workplace. The best feedback I receive is when students who I have supported graduate and become my colleagues in teaching and on more than one occasion become leaders of the social work profession.

I believe my career to date provides me with an in-depth understanding of both student focussed and employer perspectives of   social work education. I have a particular interest in further developing my insight from the world of workforce development and the current economic and political climate being faced by people trying to access services .

I am a participant member in Centre for Disability research


I am a registered social worker with HCPC registration number SW38751


Current Teaching

A member of the Practice Learning Team.

Contributes to Preparation for Practice.

Contributes to placement linked  Skills development days

Coordinates clinical ethics forums with Medical school and Clinical psychology programmes.

Contributes to Teaching on the Practice Educator award stage 1 and 2



Research overview

The application of Action Learning in social work organisations

External Roles

Member of Cumbria Social Care Partnership Practice education Panel and ASYE external moderation panel.

Member of Greater Lancashire Social work education and training network practice educator panel.