Monday, 11 May 2009

Another CE-free national conference

Is Conductive Education to be kept secret?

Feeling Good Whilst Aiming High
Positive Outcomes for Disabled Children

Arden Hotel

Thursday 25 June 2009

This is the annual conference of the National Network of Advisors and Teachers of Physically Impaired Pupils (NNATPIP), which describes itself as follows:

NNATPIP is providing support for those who promote the outcomes of children and young people (0 -19) with a physical impairment and/or severe medical need and support their families and educational settings.

NNATPIP is a professional organisation which represents specialist teachers who work to improve outcomes for pupils with physical impairments. Many of them work in specialist service departments of local authorities but the network also includes a wide range of other colleagues.

The organisation was formed in 1997 and there are branches now across England (except in the North East).

Membership of NNATPIC is free.

The fee for this conference is £90.00 a head + VAT and competitive overnight hotel rates available for those who would like to make a night of it in Birmingham.

Non-members are welcome to attend the conference.

No prizes for guessing what is not on the agenda in Birmingham


  1. To be confirmed
  2. Vicky Dawson and Lizzie Jenkins. Scope’s Strengthening Families course.
  • Self-esteem and teenagers (Ian Townsend)
  • Relax Kids (John Fardon)
  • Protective Behaviours (Simon Sneath)
  • Kaleidoscope Colour Therapy (Anne Lubbock)
  • Everybody’s different, nobody’s perfect (Emma Mowat)

Information and/or representatives from:
  • ASBAH, Brittle Bones, Charcot Marie Tooth Disease, Children’s Arthritis, CBIT, Reach, Restricted Growth, Dyspraxia Foundation, ME Chronic Fatigue, Whizzkids, SCOPE, Hemihelp, Muscular Dystrophy, RNID, RNIB.
Further information

Including conference booking on line;

Hush-hush (whisper who dares)

Time was in that Conductive Education was a hot topic, in both lay and professional circles. No longer so, conference programmes round the world possibly offering one index of this, and of another tendency too.

Since the beginning of this year Conductive World has published notification of six conferences on childhood disabilities (mainly cerebral palsy):
  • Australia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand (2), Slovenia and the United States (2)

The English conference reported here brings this tally to seven.

Also notified was AERA’s mega educational research conference in the United States.

Only one of these reports on Conductive World, the one notifying the early intervention conference in New Zealand, could include mention of Conductive Education.

It is not as though CE people do not like attending or even presenting at conferences. They flock to their own, and perform there. Before the end of last year Conductive World was able to draw attention to three specifically Conductive Education conferences in train or in the offing:

  • Finland, Germany, Hong Kong

(I understand that there may be a further CE conference in Germany announced soon.)
The problem (yes, it is a problem) is that to a large degree CE people only attend conferences of their own kind, where they talk amongst themselves (without much in the way of published reports or proceedings) and have little or no interplay with the wider world outside the tiny, distorting conductive goldfish bowl.

What’s with this extraordinary autarchy? People inside Conductive Education complain (with good reason) when outsiders do not understand CE but Conductive Education does itself no favours by apparently standing apart from the rest of the world, communicating largely (or only) with its own kind, like some timid, self-defensive sect or secret society.

Such behaviour was just perhaps understandable, excusable even, up to around twenty or so years ago, when CE was ‘behind the Iron Curtain’ and, even there, confined almost exclusively to the often beleaguered State Institute in Budapest. But how is this either understandable or excusable now, in 2009? Why so hush-hush?

There is surely still time for CE organisations in England (there are after all some thirty or so keen enough to announce that they provide Conductive Education), at least to set up stall in the NNATPIC’s conference market place, or for individuals to arrange to attend. Heavens, people could even co-operate! Will they?

Or even join NNATPIC. What is there to lose? It is free, after all.

For a time, at the start of Conductive Education’s internationalisation, it looked as if this tendency for secrecy and exclusiveness had been broken, If the crude and serendipity sample of conferences from around the world reported above can serve as an index, then CE is now reverting to type, hugging itself to itself, incommunicado, out of the loop.

Do please correct me with evidence to the contrary.


Includes more details on the conference and an on-line booking form

1 comment:

  1. I wonder whether conductors the world over are exhausted just as I am.

    If so they will have no energy left even to look to find out where such conferences are taking place, let alone present something.

    They probably won't be able to afford to go unless sent there by their centre "managers", and they also probably can't be spared from the groups.

    Whether the centre managers know enough about Conducttive Education themselves to give a presentation, I do not know, but they do have the resources and perhaps also the responsiblity to set up a poster-display, and hand out flyers to communicate relevant information.

    They could also "advertise" CE by presenting films or slide shows of Conductive Education in action. And invite people to come and see for themselves.

    Surely they could "manage" that!