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Image DfE 2009 -2011, pilot in English residential child care homes

The Fostering Network - Head, Heart, Hands


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Image Check for upcoming events and view details of past events.

Networks; Conferences; Field Trips


Find more information on current and past SPDNs (Social Pedagogy Development Networks) including past key note speeches, presentations etc. by clicking here .


Uploaded 02.09.17

Bridging Traditions and Innovations in Social Pedagogy and Social Education - International Conference

This international conference will take place in Puebla / Mexico from 22 Feb – 24 Feb 2018 and aims to bring together academics and practitioners to encourage fruitful dialogues between theory and practice. It will also acknowledge traditions in social pedagogy and social education while recognizing innovative work in these fields whilst providing a forum for bringing together different linguistic communities from around the world. 

Please click here for further information. Early registration is available from September, 2017 until December 31, 2017


Uploaded 04.08.17

Webinar - Social Pedagogy: Why the Creative Arts and Performing Arts?

This SPPA webinar is all about the creative arts. It explores how arts agencies in their work with children and adults can draw on social pedagogical principles, using the artist pedagogue framework. This is then linked to studies and evaluations conducted in the UK by Pat Petrie and colleagues.

The webinar takes place on 21.09.17 from 12.30.-13.30. Please click here for further information and to book your place.


Uploaded 30.07.17

Webinar - Activities and Inclusion: Rediscovering Association

This webinar will look at how involvements in leisure activities promote the strengths and collaboration of young people. This contrasts with partial and targeted approaches to participation that prioritise issues of voice over activity.  Social pedagogy can help validate many examples that exist within health, social care, children’s service and community sectors of using creative activities.

This free webinar takes place on 17.09.17 from 12.30 – 13.30. Please click here to sign up for it.


Uploaded 18.07.17

SPPA Conference 2017 - Social Pedagogy in its Broadest Sense

The first SPPA (Social Pedagogy Professional Association) annual conference will be held in London on 6 October 2017. Speakers come from a range of settings and perspectives, from early childhood education to working with older people and foster care. This conference aims to make connections between these areas and social pedagogy as well as charting a way forward for social pedagogically informed policy and practice in the UK.

Please click here for more information and to sign up for this event.


Uploaded 01.07.17

A Creative Dialogue: Arts and Culture, the Common Third in Social Pedagogy

This focused learning day is organised by the Social Pedagogy Professional Association (SPPA) and takes place on 05.09.17, 09.30 – 17.00. It enables space for conversations about the place of arts and cultural organisations and practitioners within social pedagogy, building on a variety of creative practice. Sharing practice and experiences will be at the heart of this day.

Please click here for more information and to sign up for the event.


Uploaded 10.02.17

Registration for the April SPDN in Tonbridge now open 

 You can now register your free place by visiting the registration website here. We'll be emailing you with further details including accommodation options shortly after registration.
At this SPDN event we will explore the following theme from a social pedagogical perspective: nurturing well-being.


Uploaded 20.01.17

Launch of the Social Pedagogy Professional Association

We are excited to launch the SPPA on 21st February 2017, 5.45pm-8pm, at the British Academy London. To book your place, view the full programme or find out more about live streaming please click here .


Uploaded 09.12.16

 Next SPDN event - April 6 and 7, 2017 - nurturing well-being

The next Social Pedagogy Development Network event takes place on 6th and 7th April 2017 in Tonbridge, Kent (West Kent and Ashford College).

Watch this space to be the first to know more about the theme of the event and how to book your free place!


Uploaded 07.07.16

SPDN in Aberdeen – materials from the event 

 We're very pleased to be able to share the keynote presentations from evening and day seminars with you.

Kate Skinner’s talk on ´What’s love got to do with it´ is available here.

The presentations by Janine Bolger and Patrick Walker on RGU's social pedagogy lifecourse journey, by Fiona Feilberg on the use of self and reflection across the lifecourse, and by Claire Cameron on the new standards and professional association are included in the slides from the day seminar, which you can access here.

Soren Kayser's workshop presentation on how to handle a moral dilemma can be found here .

Brigitte and Colin Paterson have kindly shared a presentation summarising their workshop on child protection in dialogue (see here) and are offering a more in-depth seminar in Edinburgh on 19 August due to popular demand (see here for invitation).

Laurence Alfred’s insightful notes from his workshop on strengthening and nourishing self as a prerequisite for forming relationships are available via this link .


 Uploaded 19.04.16

Registration Social Pedagogy Development Network – Social Pedagogy across the life span

Camphill school and Robert Gordon University will host the next SPDN on 9th and 10th June 2016 in Aberdeen. It will provide opportunities to explore the integrative potential of social pedagogy in the work with people of different ages, health conditions and disabilities.

 To register your place (a maximum of 4 participants per organisation) at the evening and day seminars, please follow this link. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

Uploaded 05.04.16

 Loris Malaguzzi – The rich child, Reggio Emilia and early childhood education

If you are interested in learning more about the world-famous early childhood education in Reggio Emilia with leading experts on the subject then this day event will be of great value to you. It offers the participants to go deeper into the history, ideas and practices of Loris Malaguzzi as well as providing provocation, inspiration and dialogue.

Click here for further details and to sign up

For more information about the day contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


 Uploaded 05.02.16

 The SPDN at the University of Lancashire on 3rd/4th December 2015

170  participants attended the 13th Social Pedagogy Development Network at the Preston campus of th University of Central Lancashire. The focus of the SPDN was on "Scaling up Social Pedagogy" which provided for a lot of interesting discussions, presentations and activities. Please find below a summary of presentations of the event and a full video of the morning session on 4th December 2015.

Watch the entire morning session 4th December 2015 here.

 Welcome to the SPDN - presentation Gabriel Eichsteller and Thure Johansen

UCLAN's Social Pedagogy Journey - presentation

 Initial thoughts on Scaling Up Social Pedagogy - presentation Abby Ladbrooke and Gabriel Eichsteller

Scaling and Diffusion. Myths and Mechanisms. Presentation Jonny Mallinson


 Uploaded 22.07.15

Social pedagogical work with adults with learning difficulties - Edinburgh event on 07.09.15

This event tells you more about the experiences Camphill Scotland gathered running a 2014 pilot into the use of social pedagogy with adults with learning difficulties. Please find more information here , to register for the event click here . Deadline for registration is 31.08.15.


Uploaded 25.04.15

Social Pedagogy Development Network event in Edinburgh – 21.04. and 22.04.15

What's love got to do with it?

This SPDN event discussed social pedagogical perspectives on love within a professional context. We explore with participants how we can develop genuine and authentic relationships and articulate what we really mean when we talk about love in a professional context.


Uploaded 05.10.14

Social Pedagogy Development Network event in Dublin – 11.11. and 12.11.14

The SPDN is a free two day conference that aims to bring people together who want to learn more about Social Pedagogy or promote the approach further. The theme for the November SPDN event is reflection. Participants will explore why reflection is fundamental to Social Pedagogy, the importance of critical reflection as part of our professional role as well as different practical and creative ways of engaging children, young people, teams or organisations in reflective processes. Please find additional information here , the Unity through relationships Facebook page here and a conference brochure here .


Uploaded 04.05.14

Derbyshire County Council event at Lea Green on 28.04. and 29.04.14

The theme of the 10th SPDN event was creativity and creativity in social pedagogy.The theme of this SPDN event was systemic social pedagogy, exploring among other things the approach at different systemic levels.


Uploaded 04.12.13

Aberlour Child Care Trust SPDN event in Kirkcaldy on 28.11. and 29.11.13

The theme of this SPDN event was systemic social pedagogy, exploring among other things the approach at different systemic levels.


Uploaded 18.05.13

London's first SPDN in Hackney on 14.05.13

City Edge, Hackney 
May 14, 2013 9:30am-4:30pm
Hackney is kindly inviting us all for the SPDN event the day after the international conference. Hackney has been actively engaged with social pedagogy for several years now and is part of the current Head, Heart, Hands programme introducing social pedagogy to foster care.
On the day we aim to further explore possible ways of applying social pedagogical principles, theories and values to social care, social work, youth work and education settings in the UK. This will provide opportunities to reflect on and further discuss presentations given at the international conference, but also to hear from a range of practitioners how they have developed social pedagogy within their settings. Irrespective of whether you attend the international conference on 13th May or whether you are new to the world of social pedagogy or already very familiar with it, we will try our very best to make sure you get a well-rounded experience of social pedagogy. For us that means offering opportunities for you to engage with head, heart and hands and to explore the themes that matter to you.

 Fee: none.

Register online at – as usual places are limited to 6 per organisation in order to enable people from a broad range of organisations to be involved.


 Social Pedagogy Across Settting - Institute of Education - 13 May, 2013

Social work, schools, early years education and youth justice - this important conference brings together international speakers, experts across these areas and asks them what social pedagogy has to offer their distinctive fields. They include Michael Fielding, IOE, University of London, Walter Lorenz , University of Bozen-Bolzano - Peter Moss, IOE - Bill White, University of Edinburgh.

In the UK, developments in social pedagogy have centred mostly on looked after children. In continental Europe, in different ways in different places, social pedagogy has been applied much more widely in terms of policy, theory and practice. The conference will be an opportunity for people with an interest in this growing field to enter discussion about what this distinctive approach might offer.

The conference will be of interest to policy makers, administrators, service providers, academics and students across all these areas.
Fee: £95

Click here for booking details 


  • Social Pedagogy in Action – a field trip to Hamburg, 22nd – 24th April, 2013

The focus of this field trip is on working with children at the edge of care, in fostering and residential settings, including the costs of social pedagogic services.

This field trip with be chaperoned by Ingolf Block who is fluent in English and German. You will meet a range of practitioners, carers and academics from a variety of social pedagogic services. This will include

Support services for foster carers
Residential child care
Experiential education
A child protection centre
A refuge for vulnerable immigrant girls and women

There will be time, space and encouragement to engage in dialogue with other UK participants who are developing Social Pedagogy in their organisations, as well as with the hosts and facilitators. You will meet two Jacaranda trainers who have worked in the UK and Germany and have facilitated Social Pedagogy training with UK staff. You will have a chance to explore opportunities and limitations of the approach in both countries, as well as gain an understanding of the cost of social pedagogic services.

The fieldtrip will run from 22nd – 24th April, 2013, 3 full days in total.

There is a maximum of 15 places available and the arrangement fee is £480+VAT. Travel and accommodation are at your own cost.

If you would like to speak to someone who has previously attended a Jacaranda field trip, please contact Jacaranda.


The SPDN at Camphill Aberdeen on 18.10 and 19.10.12

This SPDN focussed on well-being, the importance of it in social pedagogical work and how it can be promoted.


Introduction to Social Pedagogy - Celcis - 20 August 2012

  • "Social Pedagogy in Action" - field trip to Hamburg - 30 May - 01June 2012

Jacaranda ran its fourth field trip, “Social Pedagogy in Action” to Hamburg. 

What others have said about previous field trips:

“Everyone made us feel very welcome, it was a thoroughly well organized and useful experience.” Operations Manager, Derbyshire County Council  

* “Their  pragmatic, solution focused approach and flexibility in terms of the provision of services was impressive. It motivated me to want to know more about structures in Germany and what more we can learn from them.” Service Director, Quarriers. 


  • Social Pedagogy Development Network- 24 and 25 May 2012

The Institute of Technology Sligo hosted the first ever Irish SPDN. The programme included lots of (inter)national perspectives on Social Pedagogy and its connection with social care. Besides exploring how Social Pedagogy can potentially contribute to practice, the focus was also on how it can meaningfully inform social care degrees in higher education.


  • A free conference, "The Good Enough Adult"  - 19 March 2012

Exploring Social Pedagogy in mainstream education and social care 

19 March 2012, Leeds - more details on the conference here and more details on the concept here.


Uploaded 10.10.11

The SPDN in Scotland - Glasgow on 06.10 and 07.10.11

The first SPDN in Scotland was again an inspiring event, with lots of interesting discussions and exploration with regard to the question of how to develop social pedagogy within teams and organisations.


Uploaded 04.04.11

The SPDN in Northern Ireland - Glencraig, Craigavad on 31.03 and 01.04.11

We had a lot of exciting discussions, contributions from participants as well as excellent speakers which made this SPDN a great success.


 TCRU workshops - running until January 2011

  • The TCRU is running a series of workshops aimed at all professionals working with looked after children in health,
    education, and children’s services, including foster care. A series of three workshops cover:

    - Introduction to Social Pedagogy

    - Experience and Theory

    - Expressive Arts - click here for more information 

    Locations are Winchester , Blackburn and Liverpool . Click on the links for more information/flier. 


Uploaded 09.11.10

The SPDN in Derbyshire - South Normanton on 5.11.10

One focal point of this event was to develop the SPDN into a network that would essentially have an impact on the overall development of social pedagogy in the UK.


 Uploaded 22.06.10

The SPDN in Staffordshire - Stone on 18.06.10

The participants discussed the question how can we develop a UK social pedagogy that honours good existing practice and is underpinned by social pedagogical principles, values and theories.


  • 18 June, 2010 in Staffordshire - the next meeting of the Social Pedagogy Development Network. Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for further information.

  •  26th May, 2010 in Glasgow. An introduction to the principles and practices of Social Pedagogy: How learning from Social Pedagogy can develop residential practice. Venue to be confirmed.  

  • Saturday, 22nd May, 2010 - 10:00 - 16:00 - Social Pedagogy workshop at the University of West of England.

The day will be the first of two day events on the theme Social Pedagogy and aims to offer a framing of the topic, research and practice examples and opportunities to explore and reflect on principles and practice while a second workshop will offer a philosophical exploration of its roots in German idealism, through to policy and practice considerations.  

More details and booking informatione here .


  • 15 April, 2010 - Institute of Education, University of London - A conference: Richer Lives, Social Pedagogy and creative activities: Lessons from Europe. 

Access to creative and positive activities and a "cultural offer" for all children and young people is promoted by government policy. Staff in Children's Services, however, may not always know how best to work with artists for the benefit of children, including those in their corporate care. Pat Petrie (Centre for Understanding Social Pedagogy, Institute of Education) and Helen Chambers (National Children's Bureau) have examinsed the training and practice of Danish Social Pedagogues, whose education includes creative activities. They have also developed a learning framework for artists wishing to work with looked after children.

The conference brings together, for the first time nationally, people experienced across children's services, practitioners in the performing and visual arts to discuss what facilitates and what hinders participation in creative activities with children, especially those in or at the edge of care - and its benefits. 

More information

Booking form


  • Social Pedagogy from Roots to Practice

 A day workshop at the University of the West of England, Bristol

Saturday 13th March 2010 10am – 4.30pm

Frenchay Campus, Room 2S704

The day is designed to be the first of three day events on the theme of Social Pedagogy.  Social Pedagogy is the name given to a different, more integrated approach to education and social care.  It is a holistic perspective based on acknowledging the importance of ‘head, heart and hands’ and the importance of relationship and social interaction in promoting a healthy development and life.  Recent interest in this approach within government makes this a very topical subject to explore. 

This first workshop aims to offer a framing of the topic starting from a philosophical exploration of its roots in German idealism, through to policy and practice considerations


Dr Sean Watson is Principal Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of the West of England. He has published in social theory, neurophilosophy, and the application of complex systems theory. He has a jointly authored book in press on Idealism.  

Dr Iain Grant is Field leader for Philosophy at the University of the West of England, where he is a member of the Metaphysics Research Group. His research interests include post-Kantian European philosophy, especially Philosophical Idealism.

Jem Thomas is Pro Vice-Chancellor & Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, and Fellow of the Centre for Psycho-Social Studies. His interests include: Philosophy and Social Theory; German Social Thought; Psychosocial Perspectives on Groups.

John Diamond is CEO of the Mulberry Bush Organisation. For 62 years the Mulberry Bush School has provided therapeutic care, treatment, and education to primary aged children with severe attachment disorders using a pedagogical approach underpinned by psychodynamic theory. 

Convener and Chair: Dr Lita Crociani-Windland Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Fellow Centre for Psycho-Social Studies. 

 A small fee of £15 will be charged to cover food and refreshments which will be provided as part of the workshop.  (Some student concessions available – contact Glynis Morrish for details.)

Register online, or for further information please contact Glynis Morrish


  • 28 January 2010, NCERCC Annual Conference 2010: Understanding Residential Child Care: Valuing the effect and effectiveness of everyday life

This year’s NCERCC annual conference will examine the day-to-day realities, routines and relationships that make up the residential care experience. Young people tell us that these experiences frequently make the biggest and longest lasting differences in their lives. Drawing on this theme, speakers will offer insights of value to practitioners, policy-makers, regulators and commissioners.

  • October 2009, the TCRU is delighted to announce that on Wednesday 28 October, 2 - 5pm, they will be hosting a seminar led by Professor Emeritus Friedrich Seibel of Koblenz University of Applied Sciences at the Institute of Education University of London. The seminar will be a unique opportunity to hear from one of Germany's expert scholars on social pedagogy and to debate the issue: 'The Foundations of Social Pedagogy'. The seminar will be chaired by Professor Peter Moss and Professor Michael Fielding will be the discussant. There will be plenty of opportunity for discussion. Seminar programme & delegate booking information
  • 16 October 2009: A joint Tavisstock Clinic and NCERCC Conference at Tavistock Centre London: So What Makes It Therapeutic ...? There are several new models of care being proposed, especially Social Pedagogy. Conference programme & booking. See Jonathan Stanley's contribution to the conference The Social and Inner Worlds of Social Pedagogy

  • 12 October 2009, Break is hosting a conference called “Home Truths – Positive Outcomes in Residential Care” at the John Innes Centre, Norwich. One of the key sessions is entitled ‘How Social Pedagogy Works in Practice in Residential Care’ led by Ariane Hoppler ( a social pedagogue and currently a Learning and Development Consultant with Norfolk County Council) and Arno Bauhaus (a Social Pedagogue Practitioner Manager from Schleswig-Holstein/Germany). The Conference will focus exclusively on residential child care and other speakers include Professor David Howe from the University of East Anglia and Jonathan Stanley from NCERCC.  There will also be sessions hosted by care leavers – including the keynote speech from aspiring actor Jarone Macklin-Page.Fee: £50+VAT (£25 for not-for-profit and charities). Contact: Sarah Bunn at sarah.b at Event programme & delegate booking form

  • 12 & 13 June 2008, Crieff - SIRCC National Conference, "Sustaining Relationships: A vital residential child care task" Event programme

  • 30 April 2008, Edinburgh - Children in Scotland, "Working it Out" Event programme Purchase Working it out: developing the children's sector workforce in Scotland, published by Children in Scotland

  • 7 November 2007, Birmingham - NCERCC, "Residential Child Care Matters: Time for change and continuity" Event programme  


Uploaded 30.11.09

The SPDN start-off event in Essex - Colchester on 27.11.09

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.