Standing up for Joe and other British broadcasts
Joe, a British little boy with cerebral palsy, was taken to Hungary by his parents in 1985. They had endeavoured to find suitable education/treatment for him at home in England, but felt that what was on offer was not adequate for his needs. When the Peto Institute agreed to see if they could help him, the family travelled to Budapest. This film told their story.
Its record of his parents’ fight for appropriate services, their stay in Budapest, and the system Conductive Education, practised at the Institute, made fascinating, riveting viewing. It was first broadcast by the BBC on 1 April 1986, and British newspapers the following day carried a positive, enthusiastic review of the programme. It became the catalyst for the huge surge of interest in Conductive Education across the Western world.
The effects were enormous.
Within a few days of the broadcast, parents had formed an action group, Rapid Action for Conductive Education, that went on to lobby Parliament, twice. The Foundation for Conductive Education was established by Andrew Sutton in November 1986 with the intention of bringing Conductive Education to Britain, ‘to promote and advance the knowledge and skills thereof’ , and train conductors.
A follow up film, To Hungary with love, broadcast by the BBC a year later, showed the experiences of parents from the US and the UK who had made the journey to the Institute despite the Cold War, with their cerebral-palsied children, inspired by what they had seen in Standing up for Joe. Parents wanted Conductive Education for their children and wanted to know why they had not been able to access it back home.
A debate was held in a British television studio, broadcast on Kilroy, a programme presented by Robert Kilroy-Silk and participants included Andrew Sutton, Janet Read, Freddie Green, Director of Education of the the Spastics Society, (now Scope) Ester Cotton and some of her followers, plus a number of parents. Nothing much has changed since, as you can see from a You and Yours Radio 4 programme in March 2004.
Huge media interest continued for some time after 1986 and the National Library of Conductive Education holds many, many files of press cuttings generated all over the world.Even after watching Standing up for Joe
many times, I am still held spell-bound whenever I see it and its influence still rumbles on. It’s the one thing about Conductive Education that most people have heard of, or seen, worldwide.
I used to get frequent requests for copies, which of course, I was unable to provide for copyright reasons.
The BBC no longer sell copies.