Month: June 2008

More information

In response to my last posting, Norman has asked for a reference to the Education Bill currently going through the UK parliament as mentioned by Baroness Warnock. After searching ( no reference was given in the Special Children article) I have found several Bills currently going through the House of Commons: one on special educational needs information, one on education and skills and one on the education of children with autism. These can be found at

and

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/publications/educationandskills/

with a collection of associated documents including a brief summary.

and

http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2007-08/educationchildrenwithautism.html

A full list of bills can be found at http://services.parliament.uk/bills/

I hope this helps.

Interesting opinion and statistics

This week I have found two items of interest to those in the field of CE in journals/magazines taken by the National Library of Conductive Education.

In the latest isue of Special Children there is a report of a presentation made by Baroness Warnock to the 5th Annual SENCO Update Conference held in London, May 2008. She gave an overview of the report produced by the inquiry she chaired in 1978 and then states that the statement of need “devised really in order to protect the interests of the most severely handicapped” turned into “what the local authority thought it could afford. So right at the beginning the statement failed”. She also expressed concern that in the new education bill going through parliament at the moment ” the obligation of the local authority to inform parents of special schools that are available has been whittled down, and now, if the bill goes through, they have no duty, for example to inform parents of the existence of suitable independent schools”

Read the full article in Special Children, June/July 2008 , pp.14- 17.

A small piece in Cerebral Palsy Magazine, an American publication caught my eye. The prevalence of cerebral palsy has increased according to a new study by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which shows that about 1 in 278 children have cerebral palsy higher than the previously accepted 1 in 666 children.

Cerebral Palsy Magazine, June 2008, p6.

What does a librarian do?

For centuries libraries have been established to enable easy access to knowledge and save significant items from being lost or destroyed. The people who manage, organise and collect the materials are known as librarians and their roles in the process vary according to the type, size and reason for setting up the collection. Large libraries have a large number of staff and the various tasks necessary to operate can be shared out amongst them. Small libraries, such as the National Library of Conductive Education, may have only one librarian who deals with all aspects of library management, from selection, purchase, processing of items (such as cataloguing and classifying ), answering enquiries and as a consequence gets to know the stock really well.

I had an enquiry last week asking for a list of ‘relevant and meaningful’ items on facilitation in Conductive Education and this raised the question of evaluation. As it happens I have compiled a pitifully short list of references on the subject, mostly pieces/sections from longer items but all these had not been included in the list because they were meaningful, but because that was all I could find. Because there is so little material that deals with such specific areas of CE anything that is available tends to be included. It is not the librarian’s job to be selective or evaluate, that is for the reader/researcher to do. Over the years I have learnt a lot about CE and know what are the most popular texts, but I do not know enough to offer informed opinions yet. I leave this to others such as Andrew Sutton who has now posted a very interesting look at facilitation on his blog

The literature of CE is sparse, to say the least and much of it has been written by those who aren’t conductors. More written by conductors is needed to ensure that worthwhile accurate information about the philsophy and practice is available to form a firm basis for those wishing to extend their knowledge, increase the number of items available to be included in lists, and build the literature.

A number of lists are available at

By way of introduction

After qualifying as a librarian, I worked in public libraries until I took a post in the School of Education Library at the University of Birmingham and it was there I met an honorary lecturer who came in to the library frequently, usually with interesting, unusual requests. In 1983 he appeared asking for anything that could be found on Conductive Education. Yes, that was Andrew Sutton and the start of my involvement with CE.
 I left the School of Education library in 1984 and a couple of years later I volunteered to help organise what was a growing collection of material that Andrew had in a filing cabinet. In 1991 he obtained the money for the Foundation for Conductive Education to employ a Librarian (which turned out to be me), to start what was to become the National Library of Conductive Education. It is my baby, so to speak, and is still in its infancy.
At present there are nearly 3,000 items on CE, books, journals, articles, conference papers, conference proceedings, unpublished papers, cassettes, videos, CDRoms, DVDs, in twelve languages. Additionally there is a collection of media/press-cuttings going back to the 1960s, student dissertations at all levels, reports of visits to the Peto Institute and the international courses attended there. Most of this material is unique and irreplaceable.

There is also material on the neurological conditions helped by CE, other ways of working with these conditions, child development, anatomy, neurology, disability etc. The library is open-access and available for anyone to use. Please get in touch if you would like more information about it.

New material is appearing all the time, old and new, and I will announce this on this blog, , as this is an ideal system for quick dissemination of information. I would like ask anyone who writes, publishes, presents on Conductive Education to let me have copies as the aim is collect everything on CE, no matter the level, length or language.

More on this later.