Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Overflow public open day next month

Zusäzlicher Infoabend für Eltern
1900, 23 April
Private Grundschule Inntal,Rosenheimer Str.118, 83080 Niederaudorf

The CE Inclusive School to open in September in Bavaria has already held two well-attended public open days, primarily for parents of prospective pupils:

Now it is having to lay on a third, to meet public interest:

This is a reverse-integration project, as far as I know the first anywhere involving Conductive Education. The small primary school, comprising initially two classes, will be run by a conductor and a pedagogue, on conductive lines. The bulk of the pupils will have no disability but any children admitted with motor disorders will find an educational setting highly attuned to their optimal development. Please correct me if I am wrong in any of this *.

In so far as I understand the Bavarian way of funding education, the school will run for two years on private funding. Then, if is satisfies inspection requirements, the state will assume financial responsibility. Again, correction welcome.

Why not elsewhere?

The reverse-inclusion model seems to offer self-evident human and educational advantages, for all parties involved. Why has it taken so long to try it out?

It costs money, of course, and as far as Europe is concerned, Bavaria is more likely to have this commodity to hand than are most places. It requires highly motivated parents to take the lead in getting such an operation of the ground, and highly informed and organised ones at that. Perhaps Bavaria is favoured in this respect too. It also depends upon a sophisticated and diverse education system – certainly the UK's sclerotic and defensive education services would more likely stamp on such initiative than embrace it. And perhaps vital here, this project has been consciously and visibly at the forefront of its national inclusion movement. Oh dear, in what other countries can CE claim this?

Notwithstanding local difficulties, this is world CE's most exciting new school-age initiative for some years, anywhere, and merits close watching for whatever lessons can be learned. Fortunately it is in hands of people with perhaps uncharacteristic willingness and ability to communicate.

What's the trick?

School-age CE has always been particularly hard to implement, right from the start of the internationalisation of Conductive Education in the late eighties. Even when services are running it is difficult to achieve and maintain state-funded pupils, except perhaps in some contexts for the most severely disabled children. So how come they seem to be pulling something off this apparently radical and progressive initiative in Bavaria?

Whatever the trick (more likely the combination of factors) vital to this project, it is to be hoped that people in Conductive Education elsewhere will give the initiative careful account. Perhaps of course they will not – if so indicative of perhaps another prevalent factor in CE's relevant success in some places, and failure in others.

* Knowability

I may be wrong, there may have been other reverse-integration schemes. I recall noticing a presentation in a parallel session at a recent internal conference at the Pető Institute. The presentation was called Fordított integráció a konduktív nevelési rendszerben kisiskolás gyermekek részére (Reverse integration in the conductive upbringing system for elementary school children). The presenter was PAI programme-leader Marianna Mühl Vajdáné.

I think that one can forgive those working in the field around the world for not spotting this:

Know Conductive Eduction? How can one?

Just perhaps a later version of this account may reappear at the forthcoming World CE Congress in October (in Bavaria). And just perhaps a written version will be published thereafter...

1 comment:

  1. Dear Andrew, thanks for this article!
    As far as I see you understood everything quite well! Let me only commend some aspects:
    - it is not a reverse integration project. It is a uncompromisingly inclusive project. "Inclusive" as it is meant: nobody will be excluded due to his her behaviour, colour, disability and what ever. There will be CHILDREN, no matter HOW they are.
    - our roots are CE and the basement of the school will be CE, the philosophy , but also the everday's business CE and we say very clearly: there will be an advantage of CE for all pupils, as you can read in in the conception, published on the school's homepage: (should be translated in english, the concept..)
    -the funding of private schools works exactly as you described it
    I think, and most of the members of FortSchritt Rosenheim would agree, that it is a combination of factors which help now to let the dream of such a school become true.
    But let me mention one thing: people with that bright intelligence and integrity like Bettina has got it and a conductor like Rita with these unbelievable pedagogical skills and this deep humanity, able to put her idealistic vision in words, are necessary for the project. We all others of the association are important, but these both are not frightened to fight for their conviction and worked hard for it. Thanks them we have a great net of supporters, who help to establish the school.'Petö' is now well known in the region.We all did a lot for it.

    First results of the school will be presented at the WCCE!

    Best wishes