Month: July 2009

More information on New Zealand

Following on from my previous posting, there is a detailed note of the situation in New Zealand in the NZ Foundation for Conductive Education Newsletter which has just been published on their website.
The newsletter also contains interesting reports on what is happening in the various centres and units plus plans for the future.

Update on situation in New Zealand

I have had an update on the situation in New Zealand which was a little unclear from reading the newspaper reports. Apparently it is not as bad as first thought. I have received the following explanation of the situation and it is reproduced here with kind permission from Dave Ching:

The recent government budget included cutting a therapy entitlement for all school facilities catering for the physically disabled including the 3 Conductive Education facilities based in primary schools in NZ. …..not all of the funding, just some. This was a funding allocation that was given in 2001 on a transitional basis for a three year period while a major research was to be carried out to ascertain the level of funding support that was necessary to support profoundly disabled students in school facilities that cater for the such students. The major research project on behalf of the Ministry of Education was carried out by Cath Wylie and became known as the Wylie Report (Wylie, 2000). This was released in August 2000 and in October 2000 the decision was announced by the MOE in October of that year and implemented from the start of 2001. The particular recommendation from that Wylie Report that resulted in this therapy entitlement is quoted below:


“I recommend the creation of a top-up funding pool for the next three years, to provide security for planning and employment. This pool is likely to cost between $1.5 to 2 million per annum. Funding should be given on the basis that the schools will contribute to a shared data base of case studies to develop a clearer understanding of the outcomes and costs of reasonable provision for different students, so that sound decisions can be made after the three year period.” 

Note the reference to the suggested collection of case studies to establish criteria on which those sound decisions would be based. That data was collected over the 3 years and a report compiled. The report did not include outcomes… was obviously up to the MOE to create those outcomes from the data and put in place some long term entitlements. However the Ministry never came to any conclusions and the entitlement was rolled over each year until the present ……when it is to be scrapped from the beginning of next year. This funding was given as an entitlement to employ therapists (Occupational, Physio & speech) in 26 facilities through NZ. In the case of the 3 Conductive Education school facilities this therapy entitlement was cashed up and the money used to employ the conductors. The government made a commitment that at the end of the 3 year period, outcomes and long term decisions would be made as to the funding levels these facilities would attract. This commitment was never honoured and at the end of this 3 year period, the therapy entitlement was “rolled over” each year through to the present day. This promised research was never acted on, nor did any outcomes result. With a new government being elected they have just cut that funding entitlement in the budget.

 I stress that this only effects 3 of our 10 units.

 Meetings are being held with Ministry of Education officials and Government Ministers in the hope of getting the decision reversed. If that cannot happen it is intended to try to find alternative funding for those 3 facilities. The units will not close. To keep the conductors it may mean less teachers for example.


The August newsletter of the New Zealand Foundation to be sent out next week will give a clearer background to the issue. Since receiving the above I have been told that one unit at Naenae Primary School in Lower Hutt is now is covered for next year, they have found a way of filling the gaps.

Wylie, C. (2000) Picking up the pieces. Review of special education 2000. Wellington: Ministry of Education.

Anything goes with cerebral palsy!

James Rose, one of the first children to go to the Peto Institute in the 1980s, has done a sky dive for charity. Susie mentioned it on her blog

and today I found an article in the press about it.

The article states:

After a long three-year wait, 24-year-old James Rose, who has cerebral palsy, has taken to the sky to fulfil his dream of jumping 13,000 feet out of a plane.
James took the leap on Saturday at RAF Weston in Bicester, Oxfordshire, raising more than £4,000 for charity in the process.
James, who is from Winchester, has had to battle with bureaucracy to get permission to do his “Like A Bat out of Hell” skydive. Doctors had said there was a chance that spasms in his legs, caused by the cerebral palsy, might put him at serious risk during the jump.

Well done, James. What is next?!

Organising your Conductive Education material

The hunt for a quotation and its origins as mentioned in a previous posting has led to a discussion about materials on Conductive Education held by individuals.

It is great to hear that some conductors have their own little ‘libraries’ which may include items not in the National Library of Conductive Education or the Peto Institute collections, but most probably they are already held. Judit suggested compiling some of these for publication, or sorting into a ‘library’.

A lot of material in Conductive Education is unpublished and tends to be fairly short papers or reports. Still interesting and useful, nonetheless. Sorting these and preparing them for publication would be quite an arduous task, as I remember well from producing Maria Hari on conductive pedagogy. You would need to decide whether the material warrants such efforts, who would help edit, publish, establish copyright etc. If you do have any you think would fit into this category, please let me know.
Establishing a library also is hard work. The material needs organising, classifying, cataloguing etc and can take a long time. It took eighteen years to build the National Library of Conductive Education in this way, combined with finding and adding new material.

But personal collections can be organised to make indvidual items readily available without sorting through large piles or boxes. This can be done by simple means, such as putting them in order by author, or filing under broad subject headings such as history, philosophy, practice, country, to name a few, and listing them. Duplicates could be offered to the National Library of Conductive Education, the Peto Institute, or even me!

If anyone would like to contact me for further basic information on how to do this, I will be happy to help.

Who said what? One thing leads to another

A few days ago I had a request asking:
 I am looking for a quote that I thought was attributed to Peto, but now I can’t find the source that I thought it came from. The quote was something like…’Do not ask me what I can do for a child. Ask the child what he can do for himself.’

Since then there has been some blogging about this as others have made suggestions, but unfortunately it has not been possible for any of us to confirm the source either way. I feel it originated from Maria Hari but am not in a position to check this.

It led me to look at Maria Hari on conductive pedagogy in the hope I would find it there, but all I found was a substantial number of statements that are very similar:

eg. ‘The work of the conductor is simply to motivate the child to do well’. p71.

‘The child learns that he can change position. The conductor must prove it to him. The conductor gives him the chance to interact with the environment and to overcome difficulties’ p72.

every child must know that he is absolutely free to do what he wants and that he is the most essential, his skills are appreciated, his life has meaning’ p109.

 Not quite as snappy as the quote asked about, but just as good, I think.This made me realise what a goldmine the book is, it can help with explaining the philosophy and pedagogy behind Conductive Education. It does this clearly and succinctly, and all those wishing to know more should get hold of a copy.

There are copies in the National Library of Conductive Education and also copies for sale from

the National Institute of Conductive Education

At one point Andrew talked about compiling a little book of quotes from the writings of Hari which, perhaps could be looked at with Peto’s proverbs, ( as mentioned on Susie’s blog) if the source can ever be confirmed. and

Perhaps a collection of such fully referenced quotes would be useful, though of course, it must always be remembered that statements can be distorted when used out of context.

Maguire, G. and Sutton, A. ed. (2004) Maria Hari on conductive pedagogy. Birmingham: Foundation for Conductive Education.

All change!

For some time I have been concerned about the name of this blog. Things have changed since its set-up and the name ‘Library’ is no longer appropriate.

A library is a collection of organised, accessible, catalogued material and other information. While I was the Librarian and had access to Conductive Education material in the National Library of Conductive Education, and its catalogue at the National Institute of Conductive Education, ‘library’ seemed a logical name for a blog intended to promote this collection.

That situation no longer applies.

The post of Librarian was made redundant. I left taking with me what only I had learnt (in my head), my ‘knowledge’ of the literature, the history, the people etc, and now rely on this, my memory and the Internet when posting information.

I am continuing my blog on a voluntary and independent basis because I believe in the cause, I know that this cause desperately requires a service of this kind, and anyway I enjoy it.
This blog has had no connection with the Foundation for Conductive Education since March. Nor, as far as I know, does the Foundation desire such contact.

This blog is a private venture. Therefore I have decided to re-name it, Conductive Education Information, to reflect its purpose more accurately.

There will also be a change in URL, but there is no need for regular readers to change their bookmark or alert settings, as Blogger will automatically make redirection to the new Internet address.

The National Library of Conductive Education is still there, so if you have any requirements for bibliographic or other information please contact either

or myself