More than 200 graduates have signed up to a new scheme to attract the brightest candidates into social work within just 24 hours of its launch, it emerged last night.
Frontline, which was first unveiled by The Independent on Sunday last year, is designed to improve child protection by encouraging applicants to bring leadership, prestige and a sense of "social mission" to the job.
Some 260 people expressed an interest in becoming Frontline candidates after its launch on Friday. It is modelled on Teach First, where graduates are fast-tracked into teaching positions in inner-city schools. It is the brainchild of Josh MacAlister, a teacher who started with Teach First.
Edward Timpson, minister for children and families, said yesterday: "This is spectacular. If this programme helps the public to recognise that there are skilled, bright people becoming social workers, then it's a momentous step towards raising the status of the profession and giving it the recognition it deserves."
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