Peter has been a social worker academic since 2008 after a twenty-year career in adult and mental health social work, specialising in clinical mental health including authoring serious case reviews (SCR) and Approved Social Worker training for the South Essex Mental Health Trust (SEMHT), working as a consultant social worker and advising on professional mental health programmes (Essex County council, Hertfordshire University, and North Essex Mental Health Trust). Peter was the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) Chair of the Educational Sub-Committee (2002) and BASW Chair (2004).
Joining the University of Essex in May 2022, Peter is the module lead (Law, Policy, and Ethics) for the master’s in social work and module lead (Professional Skills 1) on the BA programme. Peter's teaching commitments span the social work curriculum reflecting his commitment to human rights, ethics and where practice and theory meet in relation to mental health, families, and citizenship. He has interests in social construction pedagogy, narrative social work including Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) and participant activism, focusing on policy, practice, and inequalities.
Peter's research focuses on pedagogy of mental wellbeing. He is interested in narratives used to frame social work education in public policy with a particular focus on language, decision making and inclusive education: looking at the politics of mental health to inform professional roles as negotiator, dealmaker and decision maker.
His doctoral research focused on understanding how decisions are made at the point of detention for people being assessed using mental health legislation (MHA 1983 (2007) and specifically how professional narratives frame outcomes and inform social work education programmes in England. He is part of a research team exploring the determinants of mental health resilience among food bank users within a local community in Essex and has undertaken evaluation projects with public sector organisations, with expertise in mixed methods to understand narratives behind data to inform service review and planning. Peter is particularly interested in projects relating to mental wellbeing, access to psychological therapies, mental health legislation and community resilience.
Peter has been active in the research community including Associate Editor for Practice Journal (2003-05), Journal reviewer BJSW, Book Reviewer, Learning Matters and has also published both book chapters and research articles.
Peter is an experienced external examiner, previously for Bournemouth University (2016), Leeds University (2018) and Northumbria University (2020) and external advisor, University of Central Lancashire (2015). Peter has also developed, accredited, and been programme lead on two University programmes: MA Mental Health 2009-2014 (University of Suffolk and UEA development lead); BA Social Work, Apprentice Programme 2017-2022 (University of Suffolk).
Peter works as a volunteer counsellor for Iceni, working with families involved in addiction and domestic abuse. Research Interests: 1) impact of mental health legislation 2) social work education pedagogy (specifically, students with additional needs) 3) Inclusive education (specifically, how Dyslexia impacts on academic achievements (Peter has Dyslexia as defined by the Equality Act 2010).
University of Essex