IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Social Pedagogy Professional Association

The Centre for the Understanding of Social Pedagogy (CUSP) at IOE ran a project to develop the Social Pedagogy Professional Association (SPPA) from 2016-2019. SPPA was incubated at IOE but is now independent of it. SPPA is a membership-based organisation run by 13 trustees; it holds the quality standards for social pedagogy qualifications, runs an annual conference and unites the social pedagogy community through a bi-monthly newsletter and the website Social Pedagogy Professional Association.

This work has grown out of sustained consultations over some years, through CUSP, within higher education institutions and through the grassroots 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.

SPPA's work

SPPA has developed a Charter of values and principles, a set of Standards of Occupational Proficiency to guide the content of qualifications, Standards of Education and Training to guide the provision of qualifications and training, and a self-assessment audit tool for social pedagogy practice. 

SPPA runs an annual conference, and an Annual General Meeting (AGM), in early October each year. There are 13 trustees, who run membership and marketing activities and develop policy and campaigns. SPPA is linked to the UCL Press International Journal of Social Pedagogy

SPPA has become the ‘go to’ reference point for and the professional home of social pedagogy in the UK. SPPA has been active across the four nations of the UK and held its 2018 conference in Edinburgh. SPPA activity has stimulated new collaborations in practice organisations and across practice, research and policy. In 2018, with St Christopher’s Fellowship, SPPA ran a campaign to raise awareness about the common ground between social pedagogy and wellbeing, including a major report on government policy, an expert seminar and a House of Commons Reception. New members of SPPA are always welcome. 


Please contact Claire Cameron at c.cameron@ucl.ac.uk if you have any questions or queries.