Previous SPDN events



From its very first meeting in November 2009, the Social Pedagogy Development Network (SPDN) has explored what social pedagogy could mean within a UK context and how different concepts and traditions of social pedagogy could be translated, discovered and connected. In all our events we’ve aimed to ensure that the dialogue extends the boundaries of our knowledge and furthers our understanding of social pedagogy. No matter how often participants have been to SPDN events or how much expertise they already bring with them, we want the SPDN to be a welcoming and inclusive forum that creates learning opportunities for everybody. Here are some insights into how we have done this at the SPDN events so far (apologies that this list is far from updated!):


West Kent College event on 06/07 April, 2017

Meeting for the 15th time, the SPDN event in Tonbridge explored a social pedagogical perspective on well-being. Our summary of the evening and day seminars hosted by West Kent College is available here.


Camphill School Aberdeen / Robert Gordon University event on 09/10 June, 2016

Our 14th SPDN event brought us back to Aberdeen to explore social pedagogy across the lifecourse with 165 participants. Jointly hosted by Camphill and RGU, the event offered unique insights into social pedagogical practice from the cradle to the grave, which you can read about here.


University of Central Lancashire SPDN event on 03/04 December, 2015

Dedicated to exploring ways of taking social pedagogy to scale, the UCLan event was a very stimulating gathering, with insights from many organisations into how they have been developing social pedagogy and opportunities to reflect upon new ideas. You can find a detailed summary, including a video of the morning session and the presentations, via this link.


City of Edinburgh Council SPDN event on 21/22 April 2015

At our 12th SPDN event we were joined by an amazing 240 participants eager to learn about social pedagogy and what love’s got to do with it. The event, which was hosted by the City of Edinburgh Council in association with CELCIS, the University of Edinburgh and Harmeny School, is described here.


Gateway / Empower Ireland SPDN event in Dublin on 11/12 November 2014

For the 11th SPDN event we returned to Ireland thanks to the kind invitation of our joint hosts from Gateway and Empower Ireland. Together with 120 participants at this SPDN we explored the role of reflection within social pedagogical practice. You can read up on the event here.


Derbyshire County Council SPDN event at Lea Green on 28/29 April 2014

The 10th SPDN event celebrated creativity and was thus hosted by Derbyshire County Council, a NESTA Creative Council with an impressive track record in connecting social pedagogy and creativity. We were joined by 170 participants at the beautiful outdoor education venue in Lea Green. Here’s a summary of the evening seminar and day seminar.


Aberlour Child Care Trust SPDN event in Kirkcaldy on 28/29 November 2013

For the SPDN event hosted by Aberlour Child Care Trust, 180 participants gathered in Kirkcaldy for an energizing 24 hours. The overarching theme was systemic social pedagogy, with the different presentations, workshops and the world café exploring social pedagogy at different systemic levels. To find out what this involved please see here.


London’s first SPDN in Hackney on 14 May 2013

The first London-based SPDN event was held in conjunction with an international conference on social pedagogy at the Institute of Education. The event itself, hosted by the London Borough of Hackney, attracted 110 participants, many of whom had not been to an SPDN event before and were greatly inspired hearing from a range of organisations about their social pedagogy journeys. Please find out more via this link.


The SPDN at Camphill Aberdeen on 18/19 October 2012

With the theme for this SPDN meeting focussing on well-being we could not have wished for a better host than the Camphill Community in Aberdeen. Their vibrant holistic tradition of social pedagogy in practice made the event an unforgettable experience for just over 100 participants. Most importantly, all participants seemed to enjoy a sense of well-being over the 24 hours and felt very well looked after in the beautiful natural surroundings on Myrtle Estate and at Newton Dee. Please follow this link to read more.


The SPDN in Ireland – Sligo on 24/25 May 2012

For the first time ever, the Social Pedagogy Development Network made its way into the Republic of Ireland. Thanks to the Institute of Technology Sligo, who kindly offered to host this SPDN, and The Irish Association of Social Care Educators (IASCE), who provided the funding for this event, we were able to welcome 95 participants to the evening seminar and full-day event. Please click here to read further.


The SPDN in Scotland – Glasgow on 06/07 October 2011

The first SPDN meeting in Scotland took place on Friday, 7 October 2011. Hosted by Kibble Care and Education, it was again an inspiring event, with lots of interesting dialogue and examples of how to develop social pedagogy within teams and organisations. To read more about this event, please click here.


The SPDN in Northern Ireland – Glencraig, Craigavad on 31 March and 01 April 2011

The first SPDN meeting of 2011 took social pedagogy to Northern Ireland. Camphill Community Glencraig, near Belfast, hosted the meeting on Friday, April 1, in which nearly 90 people participated. And to make the journey doubly worthwhile, Camphill also organised an evening seminar on Thursday, March 31, at which three highly esteemed speakers talked about social pedagogy. To find out more about this meeting, please read on here.


The SPDN in Derbyshire – South Normanton on 5 November 2010

Our meeting on Friday, 5 November 2010, was hosted by Derbyshire County Council and attended by 85 professionals from across different services. Derbyshire put a lot of enthusiasm, creativity and thought into making the day an energetic and inspiring learning opportunity, all of which is described in this section.


The SPDN in Staffordshire – Stone on 18 June 2010

Following the great success of the start-off event for the Social Pedagogy Development Network in late November 2009, we met again on Friday, June 18, 2010. This time, the meeting was hosted by Staffordshire County Council, and nearly 80 participants turned up to contribute to the day’s theme of exploring how we can jointly develop a coherent UK social pedagogy that builds on domestic traditions, allows rich and colourful diversity and is underpinned by shared principles and values. To read about this event in more depth, please follow this link.


The SPDN start-off event in Essex – Colchester on 27 November 2009

On Friday, 27th November, the Social Pedagogy Development Network had its start-off event in Colchester. Set up as a grassroots movement by ThemPra Social Pedagogy in partnership with the Thomas Coram Research Unit (TCRU), the National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care (NCERCC), Jacaranda Recruitment, and the English section of the International Federation for Educational Communities (FICE), the network aims to connect those organisations and professionals who have already been active in developing social pedagogy or are eager to do so, thus contributing to a coherent development of social pedagogy in a way that builds on existing best practice. 60 participants from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and even from Denmark, Belgium and Germany joined us for the day with palpable passion for making a difference in the lives of the children and young people they work with, and social pedagogy was seen as the metaphor illustrating these ambitions. How the start-off event worked in detail can be explored here.