Conductive Education conference in UK next month

Google has just alerted me to the fact that The Percy Hedley Foundation  is hosting the 12th annual conference of the Conductive Education Professional Education Group on 12 March at the Percy Hedley School.

The conference is :

…entitled “Back to Basics”, and will focus on the basics of conductive education, what we do well in its simplest form not complicated with fancy ideas and new developments, just focussing on celebrating conductive education for what it is and what it was developed to be.

This should be interesting and hopefully presentations will be made available to those who are unable to go by being published on the Internet.

Anyone interested in going needs to follow this link:

Pointing the way? Presentations at conferences

Over the years some papers at conferences have gradually changed from being written papers traditionally read out, into Powerpoint presentations. The main bullet points of the topic are on slides shown on a screen and these are expanded on verbally by the presenter. This means that there is no real record of what was said except the slides of the presentation (if kept and circulated) and thus details of many accounts of research, practice etc are technically lost.

Whilst looking for material to add to the virtual catalogue,  I have found a number of Powerpoint presentations concerning Conductive Education on the Internet and now there are 17 of these in the catalogue. I do wonder how useful these could be to those who were not there when they were presented and  would welcome your feedback .

Do you think the limited information included is helpful?

Is knowing who talked about what useful?

Is it a good idea to continue adding new ones to the catalogue?

These are the latest ones I have found, all from the CEPEG conference in March 2015.

MSA – facts and experiences
Annamaria Berger

Conductor assistant; experiences and journey
Becky Griffiths

The characteristics of effective learning in the conductive early years setting
Julie Watts and Becca Shirley

“Look, listen and do!” What can we do to prepare and complement Conductive Education work?
Kristina Balogh and Petra Szabo

Multiculturalism at work
Zsoka Magyarszeky

Coaching and mentoring
Rachel Smith

How many plinths can you fit in an Astra? CE in Bristol so far
Natalie Ibarguen-Sanchez and Hannah Hughes

Help me explore it; incorporating sensory strategies into conductive principles
Eszter Fortagh
Conductive praxis, who’s teaching whom?
Amanda Dorter

Look them up in the catalogue – insert powerpoint in the ‘media type’ box – then click on the little magnifying glass next to each entry in the list you get, and see what you think!



Spreading the knowledge in Conductive Education

I have just read a blog posting from Ralph Strzałkowski about professionals and their options/requirements for keeping up to date with new developments and practices:

He uses his own profession of the Law as an example. As far as he can, see conductors do not keep up to date like this.

Longman’s Dictionary defines a profession as

‘a calling requiring specialised knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation’

and a professional as

‘characterised by or conforming to the technical and ethical standards of a profession’

These definitions should be applicable to Conductive Education but perhaps a more visibly united profession with an agreed policy of research, continuing professional development, agreed standards and a growing literature would help in opening up Conductive Education and removing the apparent secrecy.

Most professions have:

  • A very active publishing field in the form of books, journals and research papers. In Conductive Education there is no currently produced journal recording developments, research studies and practice. Occasional books are published but not widely bought or read.
  • A professional body to oversee standards, research, cooperation, publishing. There is no such body in CE. In some countries there are associations but each has its cultural agenda and not all actively promote CE to the wider world. As a professional librarian I was required to pay annual membership fees (based on my salary) to the UK Library Association in order to keep my qualifications, and received a monthly journal reporting developments in the field.
  • Continuous research projects on the go. Academic interest in CE has diminished. There have very few reports published in academic journals the past ten years. Conductors need to become involved in their own projects and report them.
  • Training institutions that publish and set up research. As far as I am aware very little has been published by the current conductor training organisations, either by individuals or as organisations.
  • Regular conferences, both international and national, with published proceedings. CE has an International Congress every three years but ends up with a very full programme giving little time for each presentation. No proceedings since the 1st in 1990 have ever been published, only abstracts.


Conductors are a relatively new and small profession compared to some, e.g. medicine, education and the law. They have not had the years and numbers of people to build up a literature and reputation that older professions have.

Conductors are spread very thinly worldwide but modern technology should facilitate communication, discussion and cooperation.

Availability of papers on Conductive Education read at conferences

Today I read a posting  by Susie Mallett about a cerebral palsy conference in Bled.
She notes that there was a presentation made by a conductor, Gabriella Czifra, who also chaired the first plenary session, and asks where she can find out more information about the presentation.
These days conference proceedings are not always published as many presentations are made using Powerpoint and not written up as they would once have been, so only those present at the conference are aware of events or developments in the field. It made me wonder yet again, how often presentations and participation by conductors occur in conferences which go unnoticed or unreported.
 In the past I have asked people either to send me copies of their presentations so that I may include them in the Depository on Conduction’s website,
or let me know of any plans to publish elsewhere on the Internet or in hard copy.
Can I repeat that request again?  In particular, can I ask you, Gabriella, to send me your presentation so that it can be placed in the Depository and be available to a much wider audience?
 Surely it is so important for the future of Conductive Education  to write, publish and record developments?

Conference this Saturday 8 March in London

This weekend the annual conference of CEPEG will take place in London at Tottenham Hotspur Football Stadium from 9.30 – 4.30.

Details are a little sparse but can be found at

This is the 8th of such conferences.

On Friday evening there is a reception from 5-8pm at ‘our London centre’ which I assume is the London Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy as further details are up on the centre’s website at

New journal news

On looking around the CEPEG website I noticed that the hoped for new journal of Conductive Education is not ready for publication,  but articles will be uploaded on to the website in the meantime.

Producing a journal is not easy, as I know after editing and producing  Recent Advances in Conductive Education for eight years from  December 2001 –  August 2009.

First Conductive Education Professional Education Group conference?

Tomorrow there is a conference being held  for CE professionals in the North of England. I had heard rumours about this but been unable to find out any details on the Internet as CEPEG, the organisation running this conference does not appear to have a website as far as I can tell. The information I have now was posted only yesterday on the blog page of Legacy Rainbow House, the centre  hosting the conference.

This states that it is the ‘first ever CEPEG Conference’ which is strange as I do know CEPEG have been holding conferences annually for a number of years  in various locations, but this is the first in Cheshire.
No papers, presentations, programmes have ever been made public so I can’t say what sort of topics are discussed or what kind of practice is reported on. As those involved in  CE are thinly distributed worldwide and do not get to meet very often – the World Congress only happens every four years – it is a shame that information shared at meetings such as these is not made available to those who cannot attend. Even organisations holding conferences for members/professionals only  usually publish proceedings or make information generally available.

Perhaps this will happen this time. I will keep an eye out. If anyone knows of a public source for such information, please do let me know.

Update re the Virtual Catalogue and Repository

A few months ago I started moving the virtual catalogue on my blog at
 to a new page on Conduction’s website at
and now  253 items have been added  with more still waiting, but please note that this task will be never ending as I discover more items on the Internet.
I hope to be able to post a selection of items recently added regularly to give you an idea of the types and numbers of material available via the catalogue.
A Repository has also been set up. This will include the full text of documents which have not been published and are unavailable elsewhere. Items will be listed in the searchable catalogue –  a fine resource for those wishing to read more about Conductive Education.
I have several waiting to be included and last week Andrew Sutton alerted me to the possibility of another, a paper being delivered to a conference in the US. :-
   DeCleene, K, DePoy, L. Can Occupational Therapists Enhance a Conductive Education Program with Sensory Integration for Children with Cerebral Palsy? 24th Annual Dean’s Occupational Therapy Research Conference. Saint Louis, MO, March 2011.
I have been in touch with Kate DeCleene and she has agreed to send me a copy when the final draft is complete. This is wonderful and made me wonder if there are any more such papers, presentations that could also go into the Repository. If you know of any, or have papers of your own, please do let me know.
Naturally it will take time to get  everything up, but I am working at it as time is what I have plenty of at the moment!
Please do let me know what you think of this project and how useful it is for you.
Feedback of any kind is very welcome.

Announcement of Interesting National Seminar in London

I have received notification of a seminar in London on 27 November which should be of interest to parents and professionals working with babies and young children. The following was sent to me :

This Interconnections seminar in London on Thursday 27th November 2009 is for multi-disciplinary practitioners and managers who support babies and young children who need ongoing multiple interventions and their families. We will address the questions:

Do we offer some vulnerable infants
too many practitioners?
Do we give some infants too many separate therapy
and education programmes?
Should we assess the infant’s emotional, social
and psychological readiness before asking him or her to relate to so many

As seminar facilitator, [Peter Limbrick] will argue that it is not always appropriate to assume that ‘multiple’ disability needs ‘multiple’ practitioners. The Team Around the Child model will be offered as the forum for creative solutions when a baby or pre-school child is being overloaded.
The venue is

Friends Meeting House near Euston Station and the cost varies between £75 and £120. There are free places for parents.

For more information and booking form please contact Peter Limbrick, Interconnections – the home of Team Around the Child. Tel: 01497 831550 E-mail: Web:

Presentations from the Finland ‘European Conductive Education’ conference

In May Susie posted a blog about a ‘European’ Conductive Education conference in Helsinki, Finland happening in October this year.

This took place on 19 October at Ruskeasuo School in Helsinki from 9am-4pm with an hour break for lunch. I cannot find information on who organised the conference and assume it was Ruskeasuo School which I believe has been ‘applying the principles of Conductive Education’ for some time now.

There were parallel presentations in two halls, six in each and two plenary speakers. Franz Schaffhauser, director of the Peto Institute, started the morning programme with Ideas and Methods in Conductive Education and Logotherapy and Melanie Brown the afternoon sessions with Conductive Education an unchanging philosophy and changing methodology.

Nineteen people presented, six of whom were conductors. Three from the National Institute in Birmigham, England, one from the Norsk Forum for Konduktiv Pedagogikk, Norway and two from Joriel School, Stockholm, Sweden.

All presentations (except Franz Schaffhauser’s) are available in their Powerpoint formats at

It seems to be the trend at the moment to talk to Powerpoint and consequently the presentation is not written down for publication in proceedings or to give interested parties. As a result there is no written record for those who could not make the conference to read, or to archive in libraries for future reference. Perhaps this conference will be different. There is no mention either of a report on the conference to follow, but again perhaps that will come later.

Susie made the point in her blog that finance can play a big part in whether conductors can attend such gatherings or not.

It would be interesting to know how many managed to get to this one.

To share or not to share, that is the question

Andrew Sutton’s blog postings referring to the lack of conductor participation in conferences reluctance to write, evaluate, and ask questions about CE has prompted some strong reactions.

The point that financial considerations can limit participation at conferences is a valid one and probably goes a long way to explaining the lack of conductors at conferences.

For example, for a conductor working in the UK to attend the World Congress next December in Hong Kong he/she would need to outlay 1500 pound sterling at least. And do it in advance, to book a place and a plane seat.

As to recording and sharing knowledge, it was suggested that information should not be shared as it encourages others to start their own practice when they are not qualified to do so. Surely other professions, such as doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, do this without such fears or predicted results? Most people realise that you can’t learn how to do something like this from just reading a book, paper or seeing a film, realise that more in-depth knowledge is needed and this is provided by training. Otherwise there would be no need for training in anything- we could all learn by reading.

I think it is important to build a literature, to record practice either in paper form, on the Internet or on film. Collecting such material is what librarians do , bringing it together to make it easily accessible for those who want to learn more. If everyone refused to tell their ‘secrets’ the world would be a poorer and less knowledgeable place. As Tunde says, that is what helps to build respect for CE from other professions, and encourage researchers to investigate. I have asked hundreds of times over the years for conductors to write about their profession with little result. In fact, my last blog was on this topic. It took eighteen years to build the collection held in the National Library. This includes material at all levels, some well written, presenting CE ‘properly‘, and some not doing so well, but still helping to build a comparative literature, a basis for further study.

I heard an item on the radio last week about the statistics of domestic violence. Apparently some figures were being quoted by respected sources about this which had been obtained from an inaccurate report. No-one had queried their accuracy, even though the figures were unexpectedly high, before going on to refer to it. It made me think of Conductive Education and how this happens in a similar way.Because the people who know what it is, how it works etc don’t write it down and provide basic accurate information for those who wish to know more and understand it, so others use papers and books containing inaccurate facts in their research and thus compound the initial mistake.

So come on conductors, give it a go and help your profession move forward to a better acceptance and higher regard. Sharing can only help CE, not hinder.