Friday, 19 February 2010

Not multi-disciplinary

Uni-disciplinary, joined-up working

Norman Perrin's recent very interesting letter on the problems of even mentioning pedagogy in England, in a context where education itself is in danger of being swamped in a multi-agency sea, reminded me of my last formal presentation on a related theme.

It was March 2005. I had been retired for just six months and didn't know where I was or what I was. I was running on automatic, thinking still like an employee, still gasping desperately towards the brave future that I had been struggling towards for the last twenty or so years. I was trying to present something that should have been rather exciting but trying to please everybody. The result was rather dull.

I had been experiencing some of the Government's early attempts to construct its dream of unified professions. I could see no good coming of this managerially constructed melange but, running on automatic (and pretty well on empty!), I still entertained the flimsy hope that Conductive Education might latch on in there somewhere.

Of course, nothing of the sort happened.

An old paper

Almost five years on it is somewhat embarrassing to look at the intellectual case that I tried to construct to justify Conductive Education's being taken on board to help the government achieve some of its stated goals for children with physical disabilities at any rate:

I have come across the text of the paper that I gave in 2005. In 2010 it is clear that, for all the astronomical sums spent, the fancy buildings constructed, the careers and traditions ruined, that the well-being of the punters and effectiveness of out public services have not been enhanced in the major ways intended. Stir the economic crisis into the mix then it seems that the edifices constructed by one Government around 2005, will be facing immanent reconstruction by a new Government by the end of early 2010.

Reconstructing the world of multi – as 'uni'

What on Earth can a new government do? There is so much to fix in the fuzzy world of multi-disciplinary and multi-agency working. If a new Government takes the sensible view, and tries for change by way of bite-sized chunks, then it might find a few things that work. It would do well to look at something that is hanging on there in the field of 'physical disability', something to break out and start evolving into new forms if unshackled and nourished.

And if the existing array of tiny CE preschool services stand up, flaunt the uni-disciplinarity that lies at their very essence, and act flexibly and innovatively, then they might just attract the sort of recognition that CE has been gasping for – and create a demand that will permit the sector some much-wanted expansion.


Perrin, N. (2010) Comment to 'Ranting and raving', Conductive World, 17 February

Sutton, A. (2005) Joining up to the ‘joined up’ agenda. What can the conductive movement offer the joined-up children’s agenda? (Based upon an informal presentation to the conference Children’s Trusts: Transforming Futures), Institute of Directors, Pall Mall, London, 10 March)


I just might have found what I was looking for in terms of an (almost) idiot-proof means of publishing documents online: Zoho. Thank you very much indeed, Adelaide Dupont, for responding to my cri de coeur and directing me to

1 comment:

  1. Glad and relieved that you found Zoho Writer easy to use and very powerful in its simplicity.

    It was great how you did the footnotes as well.

    There will be great examples and great connections.