Wednesday, 20 January 2016


Times they are a-changing
And in North America? 

I had recent cause to consult the website of the Charity Commission for England and Wales. While I was there I looked up Conductive Education in its Registry:

My search brought up 19 charities (non-profits) identified as having been formally concerned with Conductive Education. See the complete list:

Of 19 charities registered in England and Wales in the years since the Foundation for Conductive Education led the way in 1986, 14 have now been removed from the register – only five remain.

Nothing of course is simple. At one point PACES SHEFFIELD and RAINBOW HOUSE have reconstituted under their original names, and therefore each appears on the list twice. PACE for example is not on this list, being a more general charity for children with cerebral palsy and other charities employing conductors either do so as part of providing a range or services or are defined according to the populations that they serves, e.g. children with cerebral palsy.

Granting this, and perhaps other provisos, the ratio of registered to deregistered charities in English charities with Conductive Education a defining feature is perhaps indicative... of something. But of what? Public definition or underlying realities? Perhaps such a rate has not been unique.

Is there 'a literature'? Some years ago (see below) David Dvorak surveyed the survival of CE centers in North America, drew conclusions and proposed action.

In England and Wales, new charities with a specific focus on CE are no longer being formed. For a variety of reasons, new conductive services in the UK operate as businesses, private practices, consultancies etc. A recent example:

Their survival rate will be important, perhaps vital for the sustained development of Conductive Education in the UK. It will be interesting to see whether they make their way successfully in the world as service-providers, either in collaboration with public services or wholly independently, without need for charitable fundraising – and, if so, discover how.

Comparative footnote: the US survey

With important provisos, the criteria, method, time-span etc. in David Dvorak's survey are not directly comparable with what little data are presented above for England and Wales, and his study is now quite old. Here is the abstract of his published report –
Abstract Development of Conductive Education services across North America has been driven by parents of children with motor disorders seeking to establish Conductive Education programs local to their homes. During 2006-7, some fifty programs were found in various listings. Only thirty were found to be operational, twenty-five of which responded to brief enquiry on the management challenges that they experienced. Center administrators’ responses clustered mainly in five areas, finance, conductors, overall management, leadership and marketing/publicity. Respondents also offered suggestions as to how these issues might be addressed, helping in the creation of a Management Report on Conductive Education Programs in North America.

I know of no other such surveys elsewhere – as ever I should be pleased to be proven wrong.


Dvorak, D. (2009) Management report: Conductive Education programs in North America, Recent Advances in Conductive Education, vol.7, no 2

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