Mr Gary NortonFHEA, MPhil, MBA, MSc, AASW, BSc, DipSW, PGCertHE

Lecturer in Social Work

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Gary specialises in safeguarding children anf families and socio-legal studies at the University of Manchester. He is the unit lead for the Law for Social Work Practice module and the Safeguarding modules on the Masters Degree in Social Work (MA). He is the joint lead for the Introducion to Social Work module and he is the Admissions Tutor for the MA programme. Gary's main areas of teaching includes safeguarding and child protection, neglect, domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation, trafficking and modern day slavery and child radicalisation. He has expertise in family law. He published his book 'A Child's Journey Through Contemporary Issues in Child Protection' in December 2017 (Family Law, LexisNexis). He has a research background in social and organisational psychology focussing on groups and how they respond to criticism. Gary also teaches safeguarding to midwifery and pharmacy undergraduates.   




Gary achieved his BSc (Honours) Degree in Psychology from Hull University in 1992 before qualifying as a Social Worker from Cardiff University in 1995. He worked as a Children and Families Social Worker before moving into management and developing services for children in local authorities. Next he became an  Independant Reviewing Officer quality assuring child protection and safeguarding services.

Gary completed his Masters Degree in Child Care and Child Mental Health in 2001 and was awarded the Advanced Award in Social Work by the Social Care Council. Gary went on to work for CAFCASS (The Children and Families Court Advisory Support Service) in 2003 where he continued to specialise in safeguarding children involved in public law proceedings. Whilst here, Gary completed his Masters in Business Adminsitration (MBA). Gary has experience of working in a number of court settings ranging from the Magistrate Court to the High Court and the Court of Appeal in London. He has more than 20 years experience of working in safeguarding and child protection. 

Gary was seconded from CAFCASS to Manchester University as an Honorary Teaching Fellow in 2011 and became a full-time Lecturer in Social Work in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work in 2013. Gary has also developed models for conflict resolution in organisations and he currently contributes to education research in the use of mobile technologies in social care training and practice.  

On the 9th January 2017, Gary appeared on BBC North West Tonight to give his expert opinion on protecting disabled children from abuse. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Family Mediator. 


  • PGCert in Higher Education, 2017, University of Manchester. 
  • MPhil Degree in Social Psychology, 2015, Keele University 
  • Masters Degree in Business Administration, MBA, 2004, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Masters Degree, MSc, in Child Care and Child Mental Health, 2001, Manchester University
  • Advanced Award in Social Work 2001, Social Care Council
  • Diploma in Social Work, DipSW 1995, Cardiff University
  • Bachelors Degree in Science (BSc Hons) 1992, Psychology, Hull University  

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

HCPC registered Social Worker & Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 

Further information

Conference contributions

Norton, G (2018) The Voice of the Child, Child Concern Annual Conference, Manchester, Uk.   

Norton, G and Davies, R (2017) A Child's Journey through Contemporary Issues in Child Protection: The Family Justice System, Shelter and Supervision of Neglected Children, International Congress on Law and Mental Health, Charles University, Prague. 

Hall, A and Norton, G (2016) Does the use of mobile technologies improve the learning experience of postgraduate social work students? Association for Learning Technology, Annual Conference, University of Warwick. 


External positions

School Governor (Safeguarding) , Unity Community Primary School


External Examiner , University of Birmingham


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