Cohort of innovative social services course set to graduate with flying colours

Eleven members of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Social Work Services Department will graduate this week (Thursday 9 December) with a postgraduate certificate in Social Services Leadership.

Titled ‘Leading to Deliver’, the course was delivered in partnership between the University’s Aberdeen Business School, School of Applied Social Studies and the Taylor Clarke Partnership - a global, independent leadership and organisation development consultancy.

The postgraduate certificate is a tailored leadership programme that is delivered to first and second line managers and lead officers from the Scottish social services workforce via distance learning. Out of the eleven-strong cohort from Dumfries and Galloway, all passed the course, seven received merits and three passed with distinction.  

Team Manager at the Social Work Services Department, Clare Bannister (58) who lives at Port Street, Dalbeattie, passed the course with merit.  Whilst on the course she took on the role of Innovations Champion in partnership with the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS). This involved acting as link person and leader for innovations partnership activity between IRISS and Dumfries and Galloway.

On top of this, as her position within her department is Manager of Learning and Development, she had an additional responsibility to ensure the course was suitable for all involved.  

As Clare said: “The course has definitely been worth it. There are tough times ahead and effective middle managers with strong leadership skills underpinned by a sound knowledge base will be needed to steer our department through turbulent waters.

“I now have much more confidence to respond to the call for innovation in the public sector. The course has inspired me to lead culture change to develop our workforce and improve services to vulnerable people.  It has already made a huge difference to the department and we hope to run it again in 2011.    

Linda Strangward, a lecturer at the University’s Department of Management, was the Course Leader of the postgraduate certificate.  She said: “I would like to congratulate the whole cohort from Dumfries and Galloway for completing the course with a 100% pass rate.  

“They are a strong class who have made full value of their time at University and are already implementing the learning outcomes of the course to their working roles. My colleagues at the Taylor Clarke Partnership, School of Applied Social Studies and I wish them all the best for the future.”

Clare will be joined at the morning graduation ceremony on Thursday 9 December by her husband, Gavin Phillips (53), and two of her fellow graduates from the postgraduate certificate in Social Services Leadership.


Andrew Youngson
Communications Officer

Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262389