Since its launch in February 2017, 125 people have become Founding Members of the Social Pedagogy Professional Association (SPPA). SPPA aims to be the professional home of social pedagogy in the UK. SPPA has three main purposes:

  • It offers recognition of learning programmes undertaken. It gives official sector endorsement of social pedagogy qualifications that meet specific criteria. It has a Charter outlining the values and principles of social pedagogy in the UK. SPPA also offers recognition of belonging to an established entity.
  • It offers the field of social pedagogy some sustainability in the longer term. Rather than just being a project which runs out, we are building a basis for self-renewal.
  • SPPA is a home for a specific UK social pedagogy, where we can collectively try out ideas, network, learn and develop with reference to but not reliant on social pedagogy in other countries.

SPPA is developing in collaboration with the social pedagogic community it seeks to serve and takes member feedback very seriously.

You said:

  1. The SPPA Charter summarised the values and principles of social pedagogy in the UK
  2. Continuous professional development through conferences, webinars and focused learning days would be beneficial for networking and learning more about social pedagogy
  3. Hot topics for CPD were moral dilemmas, risk competence, what is social pedagogy and why social pedagogy, and social pedagogy across the age range
  4. The SPPA logo looks good and works well for you
  5. Photographs of social pedagogy in action contributed to the SPPA website and the International Journal of Social Pedagogy front cover

How we’re addressing your comments:

  1. All new members must sign-up to the SPPA Charter. We are also developing a marketing plan in which we will encourage employers, politicians and others to adopt the values and principles of our Charter.
  2. We host monthly webinars, and have run Focused Learning Days in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The opportunity to network and share experience is underpinned in SPPA’s events, including our annual conference which took place earlier this month.
  3. We hosted a Focused Learning Day on ‘how to handle a moral dilemma’, and have organised webinars on the ‘risk competence’ and ‘what is social pedagogy’ topics. A funding bid is in development to allow us to investigate the use of social pedagogy across the age range.
  4. Our logo is in use on all of our promotional materials, and will be used for endorsing learning programmes as part of our commitment to quality assurance.
  5. We invited a photographer to our annual conference to develop SPPA’s portfolio of photos in a variety of settings.

What’s happening at SPPA?

  • SPPA’s inaugural Annual General Meeting took place on Thursday 5th October 2017 at the Wesley Hotel in London. It was attended by 25 members and was an opportunity to reflect on the year previous, vote on motions for the year ahead, and to elect a new SPPA Trustee board. Read more about the day here.
  • We have appointed a new Board of Trustees. We have 7 Trustees that govern the organisation and represent our members. Get to know your Trustees here.
  • SPPA’s 2017 annual conference took place on Friday 6th October 2017 at Woburn House Conference Centre in London. It was attended by 70 members, who participated in a variety of interactive workshops and attend sessions led by key speakers from the field. Read more about the day here.
  • SPPA is a registered Company limited by Guarantee. It is submitting its application for charitable status in November.
  • Our membership packages for the coming year have been developed and discussed at our Annual General Meeting. These will be discussed in-depth with SPPA Trustees on 10th November 2017.
  • Focused Learning Days have been held in Edinburgh and Belfast. These days have led to discussions around the future of SPPA in the wider UK-regions. SPPA is attending meetings in November to discuss ways of building SPPA and social pedagogy in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • We are running a monthly programme of webinars. We have hosted webinars on young people and participation, and creativity in the arts. There is a comprehensive series of webinars in the pipeline. Sign-up for future webinars here, or view old webinars here.
  • The SPPA team is developing a pilot scheme to run networking events on a regional basis. This will allow SPPA members in all the regions England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to share best practice and develop contacts.
  • We are currently support the growth of 4 Special Interest Groups (SIGs), which are available for all members to join:
    • Creativity, led by Prof. Pat Petrie
    • Learning, led by Cecile Remy
    • Older People, led by Rob Hunter
    • Young People, Participation and Association, led by Jameel Hadi
  • We are applying for up to £15K worth of funding, to broaden the field of social pedagogy into a new area for the UK: working with older people.
  • Over 30+ people from local authorities around the UK have enrolled on the Crossfields Level 3 Diploma in Social Pedagogy. There are plans to run an open course next year. Find out more about the qualification here.
  • The Crossfields Level 5 Diploma in Social Pedagogy has been accredited by Ofqual and was launched at the SPPA conference in 2017. Promotion will begin shortly, with enrolment beginning in early 2018. Find out more about the qualification here.
  • Quality assurance processes are being piloted, to allow SPPA to endorse learning programmes by all providers, from Universities, to independent training centres.
  • SPPA is in the process of arranging its 2018 annual conference which is planned to take place in autumn 2018 in Edinburgh.


What else should we be doing? Please get in touch via with suggestions for activities and events you would like SPPA to offer. We will do our best to support you and with an ever growing network we have the possibility to connect people ideas and resources across sectors, countries and fields of work. We look forward to hearing from you. You can join SPPA as a member. Find out more about our membership packages here.