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C-ALF are delivering leadership programmes for the South East London Teaching Partnership

Screen Shot 2017 05 29 at 15.11.54Social work education and training is delivered by employers and Higher Education Institutes partnerships working together to ensure the highest possible standards in the training of social workers.  Recently the government has sought to strengthen these partnerships by expanding their remit through the introduction of Teaching Partnerships, which are designed to work across the whole of the social work education and training continuum delivering pre and post qualifying training as well as raising the calibre of entrants to the profession and refining the qualification curriculum.  
The South East London Teaching Partnership (SELTP) is made up of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, the London Boroughs of Southwark and Lewisham and Goldsmiths University whose overall mission for the partnership is to cultivate a ‘culture of learning’ and shared ownership of a revitalised portfolio of qualifying and post-qualifying social work education and continuous professional development (CPD), which will advance the social work reform agenda. 
C-ALF have been commmissioned to design and deliver the following programmes to over 120 social work professionals over the following 18 months.  If you would like to see how we could deliver similar programems for your Teaching Partnership or Local Authority, then please click on any of the course titles to download a copy of our course brochure, or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.
an ILM Level 5 Award in Leadership and Management to provide 'subject matter experts' with the tools and skills they need to coach and develop other social work professionals in their chosen subject matter area.
an ILM Level 5 Award in Leadership and Management for new or aspiring social work leaders.
an ILM Level 5 Certificate in Leadership for practice supervisors, experienced team leaders and line managers.
an ILM Level 7 Certificate in Leadership and Management for Senior Leaders and Heads of Service.



We have published a new research paper in the journal of 'Human Relations'

‘On stopping doing those things that are not getting us to where we want to be: unlearning, wicked problems and critical action learning’

(Cheryl Brook, Lilian Joyce, Mike Pedler, Christine Abbott, John Burgoyne)

In: Human Relations, 24.09.2015, p. 1-21.)



This paper explores the idea of unlearning on the basis of empirical data drawn from 73 social workers’ accounts of addressing their problems and challenges in critical action learning (CAL) sets. To address intractable or wicked problems, characterised by having multiple stakeholders with competing perspectives and by an absence of obvious solution, it may be necessary first to unlearn existing responses and to ask fresh questions to illuminate what is as yet unknown. Action learning privileges questions over solutions in seeking learning from action on organisational challenges, whilst CAL is a variety that employs insights from critical social theory to promote critical reflection and unlearning in this process. 

The paper breaks new ground in claiming: first, that unlearning in the context of the wicked problems of social work is characterised less by the discarding of outmoded knowledge and routines and more by a critical unlearning which opens up new possibilities of not knowing and non-action; and second, that critical unlearning is much more likely to take place when supported by a deliberated and social process such as that provided by CAL

To view this paper click here:

IGNITE - our first 'non-newsletter'

Ignite logo 

On 21st June we piblished our first edition of IGNITE our first C-ALF non-newelstter, created with the intention to help us learn and develop as a community of knowledge.

Each edition of Ignite will have a new topic or theme, and our first edition was kick-started  with the topic of ‘Unlearning’ written for us by Mike Pedler. Prima Ponsgspikul, from Equinox in Chicago has used action learning to change the culture in some of her fitness clubs in the region and who has contributed an insightful piece called ‘Keep Calm and Goosfraba’ on the need to stay curious and unlearn assumptions we have made about our colleagues.  Another contributor to this edition is Karen Rodgers from Cambridgeshire Social Services who has written about her experiences of using action learning with qualified social workers in their first year of employment.  She tells us about how action learning has enabled social workers to unlearn the habit of referring to more expert and senior members of staff when seeking solutions to the wicked problems they face.

To be placed on our IGNITE mailing list or to contribute an article for our next edition on the topic of 'Innovation' please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gene100 and C-ALF have published an Account of Practice in the Journal of Action Learning; Research and Practice

First time facilitator’s experience: designing and facilitating an action learning programme in China

Jinshuai Wang & Mike Bloodworth (2016)


This paper describes an action learning programme with China Unicom Broadband Limited (CUBO) to support its vision of transforming to become a world-leading broadband communications and information service provider. 64 Department directors and supervisors were invited to take part in the ‘China Unicom Broadband Online Phoenix Action Learning Leadership Development Program’ which spanned a period of 8 months. This account illustrates the steps that were taken to implement an action learning programme to assist CUBO and its leaders with transforming their company, and provides a summary of the learning: as an accoucheur, set adviser and facilitator of organisational learning.