Sunday, 28 June 2009

More on the honours question...

Heather Crate is runner-up for 'Clarins Award'

I don't know whether commercial awards really count as 'honours', or are more in the way of competition prizes.

Maybe this distinction is not important. Maybe it is.

Either way, Last Saturday Conductive World mentioned Heather Crate of the Steps CE Centre in Leicestershire in its partial update of CE honours this century (Sutton, 2009a). She had certainly gained an 'honour' back in 2002, both by name and in substance.

Unbeknowns to Conductive World, however, Heather was just about to be placed among the runners-up for the Clarins Award. This seems more in the second category, a prize rather than a honour, but congratulations anyway, Heather, both for making it to the finals and for the national publicity that you brought both yourself and your centre, and to Conductive Education, in doing so.

Her citation for the Clarins Award (Fairly, 2009) read as follows:

When special-needs teacher Dr Heather Crate’s grandson was born with cerebral palsy, she founded a charity called Steps, to enable children like him to experience the benefits of the highly effective Hungarian conductive education therapeutic approach.

Filling the record

I know of at least four similar awards in the UK over the last four years:
  • Heather Last (PACES)
  • Jo Baker (Megan Baker House)
  • Joanne Mawdsley (Rainbow House) (x2)
I cannot recall the details of these but I know that Gill Maguire (Maguire, 2009) is trying to bridge the gap in the documentation so, if you can fill in any details of the above awards, please contact Gill direct via the CE-Library blog.

And please, if you know of any others, made anywhere in the world, please let her know too, again through the contact points provided on her CE-Library blog.

Back to the more general point...

My reason to bring up 'CE honours' here was not for those personal honours themselves, nor even the rightness or wrongness of honours and awards in general.

Rather it was to illustrate the contradictory attitude of the British state and possibly British society as a whole towards Conductive Education. You might regard this as simply contradictory, you might regard it as outrightly hypocritical and ignorant.

A quick Internet search to check how to spell Joanne's name came up with a wonderful paradigm example of this contradiction (or ignorant hypocracy, if you prefer). This was a report (undated, as far as I could see) by her Member of Parialment, Lindsay Hoyle, describing Joanne's attendance at a Downing St reception (itself a sort of honour, some might say).

Mr Hoyles reported on his blog:

It was a pleasure to join Joanne and Hayley to the reception at Downing Street. I have visited Rainbow House and know that an excellent service is provided to disabled children. The Prime Minister managed to speak to Joanne about the work done at Rainbow House and learn about the needs of the children that Joanne and her colleagues work with.

Perhaps I am over-sensitive but I cannot asking:
  • Never mind 'learning about the children's needs', what about doing something purposive in response to them?
  • Does the Supreme Leader have the slightest grasp of what the services provided by his Government are doing instead in this respect?
  • Why on Earth does he think that Joanne and so many like her are forced to dedicate their lives to create alternative systems, to try and compensate to some degree for the failure of the state to modernise its antedeluvian practices?



Fairley, J. (2009) Clarins award winner: 'My school has changed lives', Mail Online, 22 June,

Hoyle, L. (2009) Rainbow House visit Downing Street, (no specific date identified)

Maguire, G. (2009) More awards for Conductive Education, Conductive Education Library, 23 June

Sutton, A. (2009a) CE honours, 2000-2005, Conductive World, 20 June

Sutton, A. (2009b) State responses to CE in the UK: inconsistant, or what? Conductive World, 13 June

There have been other postings too on this topic on the CE Blogosphere over the last couple of weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Are you being too sensitive? NO

    I hope you make lots of people think.

    Your blogs like this bring up topics that should make people sit up and think.

    I ask... do people who get presented to the Prime Minister or get to talk to MPs just smile and say thank you for the honour, or do they actually pluck up the courage to ask why they have to spend hours and hours of their precious time raising the millions to provide the service that these children need, and why the government doesn't provide it?