Monday, 25 February 2008

Sheffield Wednesday

Will Sheffield City Council do the decent thing this Wednesday?

Why, oh why are existing official bodies (almost everywhere) so categorically opposed to countenancing Conductive Education and so ready to defend the status quo?

This is one of two wider questions that jumped out at me on reading the proceedings of the recent Debate on Conductive Education in the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont.

I suppose that I could also advance a milder version of this question:

Why, oh why do existing official bodies (almost everywhere) make so little effort to stimulate and cherish the fragile flower of Conductive Education, seeming sometimes instead to hunt out every (for them) minor difficulty that might be placed in its way?

Wednesday coming should be the final decision day on the lease of the building that PACES has been developing for years as the base for its unique community-based approach to creating conductive services. I seem to have been hearing about the saga of this still undecided lease for years too.

Have a look at Norman Perrin’s blog for the latest episode in this toe-curling story of bureaucratic obstructionism.

Perhaps ‘maladministration’ would be a better word in our supposedly brave new world of joined-up services, statutory-voluntary partnership etc, etc).

Keep an eye out later in the week, to see whether Sheffield City Council finally does the decent thing.

And meanwhile in Northern Ireland…

A brilliant debate last week and in the Northern Ireland media (at least as far as I can find)… nothing. Maybe, though, following the powerful cross-party advocacy of Conductive Education, behind the scenes ministers and their officials are burrowing away to incorporate change on this front into their review of ‘special educational needs’.

We shall have to wait and see.


Debate in Northern Ireland Assembly
‘Eloquent, vivid, to-the-point and heartfelt’, 23 February 2008

Norman Perrin’s blog
‘Re:Lease / Release’, 23 February, 2008

PACES Sheffield


  1. Andrew
    We have today learned that the Cabinet meeting this Wednesday will NOT be discussing our lease.
    The information was gleaned from the "Forward Plan" on the Cabinet's website.
    Apparently, the 'forward plan' is only what is 'expected' to be discussed at certain meetings and it invariably gets amended.

    We are advised it will now be discussed in March (possibly on the 12th).

    One must make of this what one wishes.


  2. Andrew
    Meant to add that although your posting is headed "Sheffield Wednesday", what we are really seeking is to embed conductive education as nearly as possible within the mainstream system - so "Sheffield United", as it were?

    Mind you, we are treading dangerous, fiercely contested, territory here, you and I - and I don't mean conductive education!