Gary Norton

Gary Norton, FHEA, MPhil, MBA, MSc, AASW, BSc, DipSW, PGCertHE


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Personal profile


Gary specialises in safeguarding children, and socio-legal studies at the University of Manchester. He is the unit lead for the Law for Social Work Practice, and the Safeguarding Children, Adults and their Families courses on the MA programme. Gary also leads the Introducion to Social Work course and he is the Admissions Tutor. 

Gary's main areas of teaching includes safeguarding and child protection, neglect, domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation, trafficking, modern day slavery and child radicalisation. He has expertise in family law. He runs joint court skills training with the School of Law and the School of Social Work and teaches safeguarding to midwifery, nursing and pharmacy undergraduates along with social work postgraduates.

He published his book 'A Child's Journey Through Contemporary Issues in Child Protection' in December 2017 (Family Law, LexisNexis, London). He has a research background in Social and Organisational Psychology focussing on groups and how they respond to criticism.





Gary achieved his BSc (Honours) degree in Psychology from the University of Hull in 1992, before qualifying as a social worker from the University of Cardiff 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 master's 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 master's in Business Administration (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 the University Of Manchester 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.  

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 trained family mediator. 

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Social Work England registered Social Worker & Fellow of Advanced Higher Education.


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

Research interests

Recent Publications:

Norton, G and Davies, R (2017) A Child's Journey Through Contemporary Issues in Child Protection, Family Law, LexisNexis, London.  

Book chapter “Care of the Child with Opthalmic Problems” (Published March 2016). M&K Publishing. ISBN: 9781905539833.  


Further information

Conference contributions

Norton, G (2019) Safeguarding and the Inherent Jurisdiction, Hill Dickinson, Manchester, UK

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. 


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

External Examiner , The University of Hull

21 Nov 202125 Jul 2025

School Governor - Unity Community Primary School


External Examiner , University of Birmingham

2016Sep 2021


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