Peter Ayling


Senior Lecturer - Course Leader BA Social Work

Department of Social Work and the Community

Contact Details

tel: 01905 542753

My background is in social work practice with children and families including child protection, looked after children, fostering and adoption, child mental health.

I have also been involved in therapeutic work with children for the last 15 years as a social worker and play therapist and am committed to supporting the emotional development and wellbeing of children and to ensuring that children's views and wishes about their lives are heard and acted on.

I believe in the importance of the social work profession for our society and am excited to be involved in the training of talented and committed social workers for the future.


B Social Science( Sociology) 1986
CQSW ( Certificate of Qualification in Social work) 1989
MSc Counselling & Psychotherapy, 2000
Ma Non Directive Play Therapy 2005
Advanced Award in Social work, 2005
Post graduate Diploma in Higher Education 2012

Teaching & Research


  • Life course theory of human development.
  • Psychodynamic and humanist theory
  • Theories of child development
  • Attachment & loss
  • Resilience & trauma
  • Social work skills interviewing, listening , empathy
  • Inter professional practice
  • Safeguarding and child protection practice, looked after children
  • Direct work with children
  • Play & play therapy, therapeutic social work


  • Emotional resilience and intelligence
  • Social work professional development and identity
  • Transition into newly qualified social work roles
  • Empathy & compassion in social work practice
  • Use of creative methods to promote reflection Developing critical reflection

Professional Bodies

British Association of Play Therapists. Registered Member. No 538.

Health & Care Professions Council Registered member SW19832.

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy - reference 47624.


Ayling, Peter. (2012,) Learning through Playing in Higher Education: promoting play as a skill for social work students in Social Work Education: The International Journal, Vol. 31 No 6 September 2012.

Ayling Peter & Stringer, Berni (2013) Supporting Carer-child relationships through play: a model for teaching carers how to use play skills to strengthen attachment relationships in Adoption & Fostering. Summer 2013

External Responsibilities

External Examiner: University of Cumbria BA Social Work 2012 2016 (completed)
External Examiner: University of South Wales MA Non Directive Play Therapy. 2013 2017

Chair: British Association of Play Therapists. 2010 2015 (completed).