Social work watchdog The General Social Care Council has appointed
local government PR stalwart Mark Oakes as its first head of comms.
Oakes will join the body in April from Surrey County Council, where he
is serving out his notice as head of communications.
His new role includes overseeing all media relations, marketing, PR and
public consultation work.
This includes the consultation process that was launched this week on
draft proposals for the social work profession's first national code of
He is also tasked with improving the image of social workers, which has
taken a battering after a spate of recent high-profile scandals.
This includes the role social workers played in the death of Haringey
child abuse victim Victoria Climbie. The inquiry into Climbie's death,
which started last October, is chaired by Lord Laming.
Oakes described his task of improving the profession's image as a 'major
His appointment is one of three senior appointments announced this week
by the council's CEO Lynne Berry.
Director of the Department for Education and Skills's lifelong learning
team Mike Wardle joins as director of regulation. And head of resources
at the London Borough of Lewisham Chris Pottinger joins as director of
corporate services. His role includes overseeing information
Prior to joining Surrey in 2000 Oakes was head of corporate
communications at Essex County Council.