Meet our SPA Policy Groups

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The SPA exists to advance the teaching, research, and dissemination of knowledge in the field of social policy, and to represent the interests of our members. To help us achieve this purpose, in 2020 we commissioned and funded Policy Groups to operate from January 2021 to December 2022. Over that time, these groups organised open events and meetings for members, ran social media accounts, produced blogs, learning materials and more.

Building on this successful experience, in July 2023 we issued a new call to invite members to apply for the opportunity to form new policy groups, as well as to get in touch if they would like to join one of the existing groups. The deadline to apply for a new group is Monday 2nd October 2023.

For further information or to apply, please contact Impact and Engagement Portfolio lead, Alessio D’Angelo, by Monday 2nd October 2023, at the following address: .

Employment Policy Group

This group brings together two formerly separate groups (the Employment Policy in Context Group and the Employment and Social Security Policy Group). 

This group, currently led by Ceri Hughes and Katy Jones, focuses on:

  • Employment support and Active Labour Market Policy
  • Links between employment and social security
  • Gender and other social inequalities
  • Employment protection, regulation, and enforcement
  • Demand-side policies and employer perspectives;
  • Skills policy; and efforts to promote good work and in-work progression, particularly as a means of overcoming disadvantage;
  • Strategic approaches to economic recovery and addressing inequalities;
  • Setting employment policy in broader context (e.g. how other policy areas contribute, and considering how employment policies play out in particular types of place
  • UK employment policy in comparative and international perspective
image of red sign stating 'for hire'
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Read employment and social security resources produced by the group:

If you are interested in joining the Employment Policy Group network, please contact Ceri Hughes ( or Katy Jones (

People are also encouraged to share information through the group mailing list (via jiscmail) and to follow the twitter account @SPAemploysocsec for updates.

Housing Policy Group

The group’s overarching goal is to reintegrate housing into social policy debates – to remind academics, policy-makers and practitioners that discussions of welfare, health, inequality and the future of the welfare state are incomplete without understanding homes and housing.

So far, the group has been running workshops and symposia, producing introductory teaching materials and putting together a themed section in Social Policy and Society.

Read the list of key housing policy teaching resources produced by the group here (word doc).

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The group leaders are always keen to hear new suggestions for their work and welcome new members, particularly Early Career Researchers.

If you want to get involved, to raise a question, or to make a suggestion contact Steve Rolfe:


Climate Justice and Social Policy Group

The Climate Justice and Social Policy Group  is currently led by Carolyn Snell and Harriet Thomson. It follows and critically assesses the intersections between UK climate and social policy making and implementation, placing an emphasis on inequality, justice and underrepresented groups.

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Between 2021-2022 the group organised two SPA symposiums alongside a series of policy focused roundtable events, and in 2023 published a themed section on the climate crisis in the Journal of Social Policy and Society.

The group is currently developing a schedule for 2023-2024. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch with Carolyn Snell on