Thursday, 27 January 2011

On the basis of the available evidence...

...there is no rationale for local authorities
to support CE programmes 
either conceptually or financially

The system of providing for 'special educational needs' in England is under Government review. The future of Conductive Education, may be powerfully affected by what emerges from that process.

In the mean time, individual families continue to struggle with their local authorities over state funding for CE services.

Both providers and users of CE services might be interested in what might look like an authoritative judgement on Conductive Education, certainly directed towards the latter process and possibly to be fed into the former too.

If you are not in England, or even in the United Kingdom, do not think that supposedly scientific reviews such as this will not seek you out, whether your involvement is at the personal or the social-policy level.

On the basis of the research data currently available there is no basis for local authorities to recommend or financially support progammes of CE. Nor is there justification for naming CE in a child's statement of SEN. Local authorities are charged with considering principles of best value and cost-effectiveness, in which regard the research available does not provide evidence to support the claims made about CE nor does it provide a rationale for authorities to contribute to sponsoring CE programmes...
There is need for further research into the possibilities of physical and psychological harm...
On the basis of the available evidence there is no rationale for local authorities to support CE programmes either conceptually or financially. There is no evidence base to recommend that such a programme be incorporated into a child's statement of SEN.
Underpinning substance?

These judgements follow upon a review of certain published empirical studies. This is not a nes-w study of Conductive Education, but relies upon previous studies. It sumarises and reprocess what it finds in these according to a particular world view. Characteristically, the authors of this review demonstrate no grasp of the field itself, historically, socially, pedagogically or in terms of upbringing.

There is so much that could be said in detail about such intellectally shallow and morally repugnant processes presented in the name of research.. Why bother, though, it has already been said enough. There are none as deaf...

Research evidence before SEN Tribunals

My knowledge of the relevant law is old and rusty. It used to be the case that one should never discuss such stuff at a Tribunal. Competent legal representation for the parents should point that it is not within the Panel's role or competence to adjudicate on the virtues or otherwise of academic research. The panel is there to decide upon whether the requirements of the law are met, and nothing else. If a Tribunal were to step outside this, then the case invites immediate appeal.

Perhaps this no longer applies. NEVER go to Tribunal without proper advice on such matters.

That of course is a matter of the letter of the law. What is understood, communicated and decided within the SEN system, outside that formal, regulated context, is another matter.


Tuersley-Dixon, L., Frederickson, N. (2010) Conductive education: appraising the evidence, Educational Psychology in Practice, vol. 26, no 4, pp. 353-373 

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