Scaling up Social Pedagogy


Social Pedagogy Professional Association

The Centre for the Understanding of Social Pedagogy at UCL Institute of Education has been awarded a major grant to set up a Social Pedagogy Professional Association (SPPA). The intention is to scale up the already positive development of social pedagogy in the UK by means of a membership organisation which will be self-sustaining and self-governing.

Over the next three years, and through wide consultation, we will develop national occupational standards and professional qualifications. Our partners ThemPra and Jacaranda will join us in taking this work forward, particularly in developing and disseminating high quality social pedagogy training across the UK. We intend to build a framework for a social pedagogy career in the UK.

This work has grown out of sustained consultations over some years, through CUSP, within higher education institutions and through the Social Pedagogy Development Network. SPPA aims to provide sustainability and scale up major achievements in projects such as the Head, Heart, Hands programme in foster care, but recognises that social pedagogy is a broadly based profession with applicability across a wide range of settings and across the lifecourse.

The work

The first task is to create Standards for Social Pedagogy, which are called SOPs (Standards of Proficiency) for those who are practising in the field and SETs (Standards of Education and Training) for those who lead on educating practitioners, managers and others. We will advertise opportunities to help define social pedagogy for the UK via the SPDN database and the SPDN meeting in 2016.

Next we will create SPPA itself and will encourage everyone to become members. SPPA will be launched towards the end of 2016. SPPA will be the UK reference point for all those interested in promoting social pedagogy in the UK. SPPA will have a quality assurance role as it will ‘hold’ and periodically revisit the standards for practice developed. It will provide an umbrella association for different communities of practice, and those with theoretical or policy concerns, to come together, in interest groups and more generally. SPPA will be sustained through membership fees. Look out for the SPPA website through social pedagogy websites and Facebook page once it becomes live.

Finally, through our work with the Crossfields Institute, we will develop Ofqual approved accredited qualifications for practice in social pedagogy. These will initially be delivered by Thempra and Jacaranda. This is a UK wide project and we aim to make qualifications applicable across the four nations, taking into account different thresholds and Levels in each country. In time, SPPA will support the development of social pedagogy qualifications at BA level and beyond.

Please get in touch with Prof. Claire Cameron any questions or queries. We will update the social pedagogy community with new developments as they arise.