Social Pedagogy – the national picture

(Expanded version of NCERCC contribution to the launch of Essex Social
Pedagogy – ...
Care Matters

It was in October 2006 that Social Pedagogy was directly mentioned in the
Care Matters Green Paper: Chapter ...
NCERCC research and conference

Between May and November 2007 SET funded NCERCC research into SP in
RCC which brought toge...
You can find the research report on the NCERCC website.

Many other providers are using Social Pedagogues recruited by Jacaranda to work in...

Essex are making a significant investment in the development of Social
Pedagogy which will include the following. G...
Thank you from NCERCC

So from NCERCC a thank you to Essex for your significant investment in this
development which we kn...
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Ncercc Socialpedagogy Nationalpicture 09dec08


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Ncercc Socialpedagogy Nationalpicture 09dec08

  1. 1. Social Pedagogy – the national picture (Expanded version of NCERCC contribution to the launch of Essex Social Pedagogy – 3rd December 2008 Essex Records office, Chelmsford). Though there has been practice that would be comparable and compatible with an SP understanding it is only recently that there has been a declared and named interest in it as an approach applicable across all English Children’s Services. Until recently the idea of SP had been located firmly within an educational framework and that has been primarily in Early Years services, especially those nurseries that use a Montessori or Froebel practice. In Junior schools and Special schools you might have found something like it in Nurture classes, and in the individual programmes of PRU’s, and at Secondary level maybe in the opportunities that come with the Alternative Curriculum at Key Stage 4. You might also have found something like it in Alternative Education settings such as Summerhill or Forest Schools. In RCC there has been a thread of Social Pedagogy that has run through residential provision that has a long history such as Steiner schools and most Therapeutic Communities. But it was a thread as they would not have given the name Social Pedagogy to their practice. With LAC you might also have seen something similar in preventative work such as Intermediate Treatment, an approach that had much similarity with Youth Work. None of the above settings I have mentioned would readily have seen a connection between what they were doing. Interest has been given a focus and shape over the past decade. Two organisations have been at the forefront, TCRU and SET. TCRU Over the past decade Thomas Coram Research Unit have published research into European and Scandinavian Social Pedagogy. The books and reports from Pat Petrie and Claire Cameron have been exploring how the approach operates and how it might be applied in an English context across a number of practice settings. SET The Social Education Trust had a very definite RCC focus. SET brought together a number of RCC experienced people. They funded a number of studies and events and most notable for RCC and Essex they funded the September 2006 NCERCC research ‘Introducing Social Pedagogy Into Residential Child Care in England.’ Dave Crimmens of the University of Lincoln and trustee of SET is part of these Essex research team. 1
  2. 2. Care Matters It was in October 2006 that Social Pedagogy was directly mentioned in the Care Matters Green Paper: Chapter 4 ‘Ensuring that children are in the right placements’. This interest was confirmed by the June 2007 Care Matters White Paper outlining government interest in looking at the effectiveness of Social Pedagogy and the generous funding of a pilot programme in Residential Child Care settings. The pilots were to focus on adapting social pedagogical approaches, as practiced in Residential Child Care settings in continental Europe, with a view to significantly improving outcomes for children in public care. More on this in a short while. (Care Matters Implementation plan only now available) uctdetails&PageMode=publications&ProductId=DCSF-00279-2008& CPEA report for DCSF/CWDC In May 2007 as part of wider scoping work in relation to the development of the Young People’s Workforce Strategy, CPEA were commissioned by the DCSF and CWDC to produce: ‘an analytical paper summarising the pedagogue model with recommendations on transferability to the various young people’s workforce settings in England and next steps as appropriate’. Four brief extracts are relevant to the developments in Essex and also serve as summary • However, if a social pedagogical approach is to be the foundation of workforce reform and remodelling in integrated children and young people services then this will require considerable commitment and attention to support incremental change over a sustained time period. • Social Pedagogy is an ‘organic system’ which includes theory, policy, practice, training and the interaction between them. The conclusions of this paper point away from the introduction of ‘social pedagogues’ as a separate professional group i.e. as an ‘add on’ to those which already exist. • ….developments need to be drawn together into an overall programme of change and development – as an integral part of the Change for Children programme – that initiates and co-ordinates workforce projects across the children and young people’s sector which are informed and underpinned by the pedagogical approach and which clearly states what needs to be done at different levels i.e. national, regional, children’s trust, employer and practitioner • this programme needs to be based on a ‘UK/English social pedagogy’ which starts from ‘where we are now’ and which builds upon the progress which has already been made. 2
  3. 3. NCERCC research and conference Between May and November 2007 SET funded NCERCC research into SP in RCC which brought together a team many of whom are involved in this Essex development. Along with Dave Crimmens and myself was Claire Chamberlain as project manager, and amongst the 6 SP’s were 2 notable Social Pedagogues, Gabriel Eichsteller and Sylvia Holthof, now of Thempra. The project aimed to develop knowledge of the theories behind social pedagogic approaches, build the confidence of Residential Child Care workers and discover possible ways of translating social pedagogic approaches into meaningful practices in English Residential Child Care settings. So what did we find? • At the beginning of the project almost half of the participants had none or very limited knowledge of social pedagogic approaches • The main expectations of the participants were to gain more insight into Social Pedagogy, how it could be transferred into their current practices, and what new inspirations the project could bring to their practice. • Almost 60% of the participants described themselves and their work colleagues as being positively receptive towards practicing pedagogically while about 40% described themselves as being neutral or less than positively receptive. By the end of the project participants reported the biggest impact of this project was either a reconfirmation or gaining of new perspectives on how to meet the needs of young people in Residential Child Care without needing to discard the knowledge and experience they had already built up. On the contrary they felt that they could refine and develop their existing knowledge, skills and teamwork, by consciously embracing and implementing a more social pedagogic approach in their everyday practice. Participants welcomed the appreciative, holistic child/centred approach Social Pedagogy offers and felt that the possibility of creating real changes for the young people in Residential Child Care for the better in England was achievable. • Over two thirds of the participants stated that they now had a more solid understanding of the essence of Social Pedagogy • Some regained or renewed their appreciation of the importance of having authentic, appreciative relationships when working with young people in Residential Child Care settings • A third of the participant’s affirmed that they had already taken on many aspects of a social pedagogic approach in their current practice • Participants spoke of experiencing their dreams and motivations being rekindled in choosing to work with young people in residential settings • Almost 70% of the participants were able to connect to, translate and use aspects of the themes in Social Pedagogy that they were introduced to, immediately in their everyday practice. 3
  4. 4. You can find the research report on the NCERCC website. sp_into_rcc_in_england_feb08.pdf The annual November NCERCC conference devoted the morning of its 2007 conference to Social Pedagogy, reporting the research, providing the first large scale experiences of SP thinking and activity. It was here that the large scale interest that we are still experiencing interest was sparked. During the presentations and seminars others understood as one participant in the research put it, ‘over the years, ‘the head’ for example, staff policies, risk assessments, children coming in as a last resort, has dominated how I perceive and work with the young people. I have rediscovered ‘the heart’ and can see working with these young people with a renewed perspective’. So where are we now? DCSF/TCRU &id=4 The Thomas Coram Research Unit (TCRU) has been awarded the DCFS funded pilot programme to examine whether a social pedagogic approach would be of benefit to young people in residential care. NCERCC is a member of the Advisory Group. They are currently recruiting 30 children’s homes and pedagogues to participate in this project, working in partnership with Jacaranda Recruitment. Pedagogues will be recruited from Denmark or Germany to work in the homes which will be primarily from the North West and the South/South East. TCRU will be researching 4 strands in the research; homes which already have social pedagogues working in them; homes which would like to recruit at least two social pedagogues from abroad to fill vacancies; homes that would like to recruit two social pedagogues to work in a practice development capacity and are supernumerary, for which a fee towards salary costs will be payable; and comparison homes, which are happy to be evaluated alongside the children' s homes in the other three groups. A particular focus will be placed on the development of reflective practice and the skills and expertise of a pedagogue especially around relationship building and group work. Induction and Foundation will be expected as for all other people joining a home. They will have to demonstrate that they have the knowledge and skills to receive a NVQ. They will have a standard probationary period. OFSTED will be applying the NMS in exactly the same way. A review of the NMS is anticipated in 2009. If these are to look towards a greater pedagogic culture then they will need actually existing examples of progressive provision. 4
  5. 5. Others Many other providers are using Social Pedagogues recruited by Jacaranda to work in homes. Jacaranda sponsor the website Social Pedagogy in Uk which brings together the still relatively small group of people involved with the development of SP in the UK. On this website you will find lots of links to materials and news as well as a network to join. It is worth noting that SP is not the only development in RCC happening – providers are using Restorative Justice practice (especially Hampshire, North Yorkshire and Durham and Resilience (Waltham Forest, Manchester and Continuuum group) as their theory of practice. Others have already existing practice based in Attachment (Keys Chi;d Care) or Therapeutic Child Care (Charterhouse group of Therapeutic Communities). These are approaches that can be close to SP. NCERCC is not concerned that there is more than one development, indeed there should be to meet the needs of young people and services. NCERCC thinks we will see a confluence of the many streams over the next decade. The important unifying factor is the conscious use of a child centred culture, a named theory of practice providing a clarity of purpose – the 3 building blocks of good RCC work. Next comes leadership and relationships both present here in Essex too. Then non-institutional working, therapeutic support for children and staff involvement – also present in Essex. CWDC Next month sees the consultations concerning the Professional Standards for RCCW’s. for-residential-child-care-workers If you don’t know about them details are on the CWDC website. These events open to all will also start the work on a case to be made for Social Care framework of development. This will remodel the NVQ and provide a new framework that will open vocational routes beyond NVQ using the Professional Standards which can be come part of Foundation Degrees that will enable the sector to be graduate-led over time. This framework could become very similar to that which is common for Social Pedagogues in Germany. A current CWDC report builds on the May 2007 CPEA report mentioned earlier and notes ‘Whilst it would not be practicable at the present time to introduce social pedagogues into the children and young people’s workforce as a separate professional grouping, the principles of social pedagogy have much to offer in helping to develop a more holistic approach to work with young people, supporting integrated working and in informing the development of the Integrated Qualifications Framework’ 5
  6. 6. Essex Essex are making a significant investment in the development of Social Pedagogy which will include the following. Gabriel Eichsteller and Sylvia Holthof, Thempra • Awareness-raising /induction workshops All staff share a basic understanding of social pedagogy • Social pedagogy training course At least 4 staff per home are trained in social pedagogy over 6 days • Creating a pedagogic culture Work with each team to facilitate process of creating a pedagogic culture within the care home • Social pedagogy agents training course 3 change agents per home to champion social pedagogy • Social pedagogy trainers course 12 change agents get trained to pass on knowledge and skills of delivering social pedagogy training across Essex • Strategy Group Representatives from across Essex Schools, Children and Families co- ordinate project and disseminate findings • Development Group Identifies barriers to implementation into practice and develops an implementation framework Why is Essex development important? • Bringing learning from elsewhere direct to Essex – learning and action at all levels is necessary: practitioners, champions in each home, managers, senior staff and directorate, others in other children’s services • The key is operationalising in a structured and strategic manner, over time and using learning from other areas that will add to SP, TCC by Christine Bradley and many consultative supports from CAMHS • Method of development is social pedagogic e.g. research qualitative and quantative feeding into development • Understanding that some things we do now are SP, some things are not and some things might be. We need it to become consciously SP practice. An Essex SP will developed through activity. It cannot be imposed or transported from one country to another but will be built over time • Understands that SP in RCC is possible where there is a context that will support it so needs others to be following that route also across Children’s Services as a whole and setting out to build that capacity • Understand sees that the role of pedagogues compliments the Every Child Matters agenda: pedagogical training is sufficiently broad-based to sit comfortably with the ambitions for a more integrated approach to service delivery • Understanding that part of becoming an equal partner amongst others in Children’s Services means having a name for the work you do, like teaching, or psychology, or social work. 6
  7. 7. Thank you from NCERCC So from NCERCC a thank you to Essex for your significant investment in this development which we know will not only makes you pioneers but active participants in the RCC task that NCERCC sees as crucial for the sector – to remember, reclaim, renew looking forwards to a renaissance of RCC thinking and practice made relevant for these times. Jonathan Stanley December 2008 7