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Sage Gateshead presents MC² – a mini conference on Social Pedagogy and Inclusive Practice

Posted on 18 November 2021

MC² – a mini conference on Youth Voice and Inclusive Music Education

Friday 26 November 2021, 9.30am – 12.30pm
In person at Sage Gateshead and online hybrid event

Social pedagogy is an ethical, theoretical and practical approach to training, education and policy. It is education in its widest sense (Petrie et al 2006).

Sage Gateshead, in partnership with Blue Cabin CIO, is delighted to present the next event in its MC2 series – mini conferences for musical, social, and cultural leaders, teachers, and facilitators working with children and young people. This is the organisations first MC2 event since the Covid-19 pandemic and they are thrilled to be making more places available by hosting a hybrid event both online and in person at Sage Gateshead.

This MC2 mini conference explores social pedagogy and inclusive practice. There will be presentations, workshops, and a panel discussion, and delegates will come away with new knowledge, insights, skills and contacts.

Blue Cabin team members Dawn Williams, Jenny Young and Associate Artist Nicola Golightly will facilitate conversations and creative activities to explore the key concepts of social pedagogy, providing a reflective space for delegates to think about its application in their practice. They will be joined by Professor Pat Petrie (Professor Emeritus at the Centre for Understanding Social Pedagogy (CUSP), who will give a keynote speech and contribute to the panel discussion.

Social Pedagogy can be applied across a range of settings and can be highly effective when using music or other creative activities to engage children and young people in creative, care, educational and criminal justice settings. It is a holistic and relationship centred approach underpinned by the idea that each person has inherent potential, is valuable and can make a meaningful contribution to their wider community if we find ways of including them

Social pedagogy underpins all practice with children and young people at Sage Gateshead and the organisation would like to share knowledge about this approach, increasing awareness and improving the experiences of children and young people which the sector engages with. For this event tickets are free of charge.

Hannah Taylor, Inclusion Training Producer at Sage Gateshead said: “MC2 is a series of mini conferences that opens up conversations about musically inclusive practice. Social pedagogy can be highly effective when engaging children and young people in music or other creative activities. In this event, we will explore some of the key concepts of social pedagogy and support delegates to think about how to apply this to their work”.

Professor Pat Petrie said: “In mainland Europe, I’ve been impressed over many years by the important place often given to the arts in the education of social pedagogues – the people who work every day with children and young people in care. As a result, they come to understand that people have the potential for creativity, and so they work with the whole child, alert to their potentials and supporting them on the way.

In this country, we have turned to the idea of the ‘artist pedagogue’, because arts practitioners can also play a unique and valuable part in supporting children and young people to experience something of their rich potential. They build accepting spaces, where children aren’t afraid to take risks – entering the creative world can feel like stepping into the unknown. Social pedagogy offers helpful insights about how to achieve this and the MC2 conference is a very welcome contribution to the world of looked after children, their carers and the artists and other professionals concerned.” 

Jenny Young, Director Blue Cabin CIO said: “Social Pedagogy draws on underpinning theory from philosophy, sociology, psychology and education. It gives artists a framework of values and principles to use when reflecting on their practice. The values of social pedagogy, human dignity, mutual respect, trust, unconditional appreciation and equality are at the heart of our work at Blue Cabin and are interwoven into the fabric of the organisation. It’ll be great to share ideas around the application of these values with delegates and we’re really looking forward to joining the conversation at the MC2 mini conference.”

For more information, please click here. Places are limited so advanced booking is essential.

Cost: Free. In person places are limited, advance booking required.




For further information, interviews or images please contact:
Jackie Thompson, Marketing & Communications Manager, Sage Gateshead   0191 443 4602

Susie Gray, Director, The Corner Shop PR, 07834 073795

Previous MC2 events have explored the social, emotional and mental health of children and young people, group dynamics, online musical learning and youth voice, all with a focus on inclusive practice and work with children and young people that face challenging circumstances.

MC2 is part Sage Gateshead’s ‘Inclusion Training’ programme which trains professionals and organisations who want to engage children and young people through music. It is part of our Youth Music funded ‘Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England’ (AMIE) programme which aims to increase musical inclusion in the North-East.

Sage Gateshead is one the founding members of the national AMIE network which is a movement for change throughout music education in England established by Youth Music.

Pat Petrie, PhD, is Professor Emeritus at UCL’s Institute of Education. Her first qualification was as a drama teacher, working with young offenders and children labelled ‘maladjusted’. She practices singing almost every day. Her main research has been on day and residential care, foster care, childminding, out-of-school care, and play. In 1999 the DH invited her to study social pedagogy in Europe, comparing it with its counterparts in the UK. Social pedagogues are the main professionals in residential care and other settings in much of Europe. An 11-year research programme followed. Also, she has examined the place of the arts in the practice and education of social pedagogues, identifying lessons for the UK. Her books include Communication Skills for Working with Children and Young People: Introducing Social Pedagogy. 

Jenny Young is founder and director of Blue Cabin. She is proud to be from the North East and is passionate about connecting people, communities and organisations to find new ways to build relationships, placing creativity at the centre of this process. She is a proud mam and is most happy walking, or in the garden.

Dawn Williams is an experienced facilitator and trainer and has a particular interest in Reflective Practice. She has been working for over 30 years in communities in the North East to create innovative arts experiences.
Dawn loves to swim in Lidos and rivers in Northumberland. She is passionate about the transformative power of creative practice with vulnerable children, young people and their carers. This work is close to her heart – which is why she is delighted to be part of the Blue Cabin team.

Nicola Golightly is an experienced graphic designer and visual artist with a predominantly participatory practice. She is also a Co-Director of artist-led arts organisation – Navigator North. Nicola’s work as a Blue Cabin Associate Artist has further expanded her practice and experience of working with care experienced children and young people from all walks of life. Her work specialises in playful techniques for engagement and creative development, with collaboration and co-creation essential to its success.

About Sage Gateshead

  • Sage Gateshead is an international music centre for the North East and wider North. Through music, creative learning and artist development, the organisation shows what music can achieve for communities.
  • Since opening in 2004, Sage Gateshead has worked side by side with partners and the wider community to help address the complex blend of social and economic challenges the region faces.
  • Sage Gateshead continues to be a major employer and has brought investment and tourism into the region, generating c. £500 million contribution to the local economy, a sum six times greater than its combined capital cost.
  • Sage Gateshead has brought social, cultural and educational value to over 10 million people and millions more via digital and broadcast activity. The scale of its artistic, learning and artist development activity places Sage Gateshead amongst the UK’s largest cultural organisations, while reaching a substantially more socially and economically diverse audience.
  • Pre-pandemic Sage Gateshead attracted 2 million visitors; 5,000 people took part in weekly music classes; 17,854 school children experienced live orchestral music and we worked with a further 2,418 vulnerable young people; more than 2,000 adults a week took part in music making designed to tackle social isolation.
  • The North East region is one of the worst affected by Covid-19. The region will be one where the recovery is slow and hard. Arts and culture have a pivotal role to play in regional and nation-wide recovery.
  • Covid-19 presents a major financial challenge to Sage Gateshead, the iconic Foster + Partners designed NE landmark. 80% of its income has been affected, and in 2020/21 £10 million in revenue was lost. The organisation has taken swift action to overcome this crisis. 90% of the workforce was placed on furlough, significant cost savings have been sought and found, and it launched a fundraising campaign to raise £3 million to help secure the organisation during the next three years. Further challenges lie ahead; in 2021/22, Sage Gateshead estimates box office and trading income to be less than half of what would be expected in a normal year.
  • Sage Gateshead temporarily closed to the public on 17 March 2020, five days ahead of the announcement of the national lockdown. Sage Gateshead recommenced performances in October 2020 with a season of socially distanced concerts featuring Royal Northern Sinfonia and artists across genres, made available by live stream; audiences were able to be present in the hall for two weekends of those performances.
  • In 2020 Sage Gateshead received a grant of £2.8 million from the Culture Recovery Fund Round One to help it through the pandemic and associated financial crisis. In 2021 the charity received a loan of £3m from the Culture Recovery Fund Round Two to support recovery. It has thanked the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and Arts Council England for this vital support.