Thursday, 24 March 2011

Conductor-training at NICE

Wolverhampton University withdraws
Independent CE college proposed

The magazine Special Children reports –

Conductive Education course set to close

The UK’s only degree course in conductive education (CE) is set to close after 17 years. The BA (Hons) course, validated by the University of Wolverhampton and delivered by the Birmingham-based National Institute of Conductive Education (NICE), will see its last intake start in September 2011. Kit Field, dean of the School of Education at the University of Wolverhampton, said:
The decision to close the programme, while regrettable, was taken in line with the recent Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) student number cap imposed on universities in the UK. Demand for the course has not grown and an average of 12 students or fewer have annually started the course.
– (2011) Conductive Education course set to close, Special Children, April/May, page 6

The article also reports intention to find another university to validate the conductor-training course, and  create an independent college of conductive education, exempt from future government higher-education changes, including increases in tuition fees.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is promoting the independent college, Andrew?

Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 21:02:00 GMT  
Blogger Laszlo said...

Es ist unglucklich und traurig aber kann mann verstehen wheil so wenig Studenten war intersiert haben. It must be bitter for you personaly. That thing was born under your direction.

Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 21:14:00 GMT  
Anonymous Patti Herbst said...

Very sorry to hear this news. It is a loss for everyone in the CE field.

Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 21:37:00 GMT  
Blogger Susie Mallett said...

I cannot help wondering whether this is a taste of more to come. I am thinking of earlier things that you have written about the state of affairs at the PAI.


Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 22:40:00 GMT  
Blogger Gillian Maguire said...

A very sad day indeed. I can remember many of the students who completed the course since it started in 1997 who have gone on to achieve much all over the world. Conductive Education has lost much, and the UK lost the kudos of having one of the main established courses devoted to training conductors. The consequences of these times of financial trouble are truly awful. Is there more to come?

Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 22:46:00 GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is your opinion on this Andrew?

Do you think it could be a good thing - that the possibility of an independent college is good?

Or do you feel this is bad news, no other university may be found and this might be the end of CE training in the UK?

Just interested to hear your opinion of this news....

Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 23:14:00 GMT  
Blogger Anne said...

My first comment got lost. I wrote something along the lines that this is very sad news. That I know a lot of people have worked hard to set this degree course up and it is sad that future generations might not benefit from that.
I think the University of Wolverhampton has benefited a lot with each graduate. I argue that they possible got 20 times more positive attention nationally and internationally then with any other graduate from other courses. With a limited intake amount right from the get-go due to NICE capacities, saying that the low interest of students seems to be a rather lame excuse. It seems that the Deans of Eduaction have changed since I attended and I wonder if that has something to do with that.
Good luck to NICE finding a new University. We need this degree course more then most people are aware of.

Friday, 25 March 2011 at 02:25:00 GMT  
Blogger Rony Schenker, OTR, PhD, Tsad Kadima, Israel said...

Sad news indeed!

Friday, 25 March 2011 at 07:24:00 GMT  
Blogger Laurie said...

Oh dear :(

Friday, 25 March 2011 at 08:18:00 GMT  
Anonymous Andrew said...

I do apologise to those who have found it hard to comment here. I do sometimes too! If you hit a wall, the easiest to get posted here is simply to email:

If your circumstances mean that you feel 'safer' psting anonymously, then say so and I shall respect your wish.


Mandy Elliott writes –

Hi Andrew please find below the posting. Sorry I couldn't do it myself. Keep your chin up 
Love Mandy x Sent from my iPhone

This is terrible news Andrew, it took so much effort and hard work for you all to get the degree training off the ground and I am very sorry to hear this.

Even if only 12 students train per year, just think how many individuals and families each one of those graduates can go on to support throughout their working lives. 

Without meaning to be political, but the University of Wolverhampton fund courses for students to have a degree in the armed forces, but want to withdraw the funding and opportunities for Conductive Education. This is just shocking.

Think about the opportunities which are opened up for the participants who are involved in CE, think about how their lives, their choices, health and independence are influenced in a positive light and how these can provide a journey which provides solutions from outside the box.  A journey which is so very different from the ‘standard prescriptive’ route.

I would presume that those members involved in the Higher Education Funding Council have never been affected by disability (either personally or with a close family member) and have not been in the position to see the contrast which Conductive Education provides versus the ‘state system’.

I am just hoping that from now until the next cohort of students begin their training that the decision can be turned around by the University.

Don’t loose heart just yet,
Kind Regards,
Amanda Elliott

Friday, 25 March 2011 at 09:05:00 GMT  
Anonymous Elliot Clifton said...

What a sad loss. I'm afraid I could see this coming, but even so, I'm lost for words.

Friday, 25 March 2011 at 09:41:00 GMT  
Blogger Susie Mallett said...

Thank you very much for clarifying the situation for all of us watching this spot.

You are right to say that it marks the beginning of a new era, and I expect not only for conductive training.

I think for many reasons that the conductive world and the practise in it are changing and what we see happening here is all part and parcel of the same upheaval.

Of course it causes us worry and sadness when something changes but hopefully this change will bring about something postive. We are all much too used to change meaning closure for good these days, it will be wonderful if this closure means the opening of something new.

Perhaps this change will also bring with it a new wave of interest and recognition to our world of CE.

Best wishes

Friday, 25 March 2011 at 10:36:00 GMT  
Blogger Susie Mallett said...

The above comment is a response to a comment from Melanie Brown that I was notified of in a Google alert.

Strangely, this comment has not come up on this thread so my comment appears to be disconected.

Hopefully Mel's comment, that explained very clearly, and positively, the situation at NICE regards training, will appear here shortly.


Friday, 25 March 2011 at 10:54:00 GMT  
Blogger Andrew Sutton said...

Thanks for pointing this out. This has happened before and I cannot understand how things go astray in the posting. I received the same alert and am pleased therefore to be able to cut-and-paste this here now. Mel Brown wrote –

I would like to reassure all of you who have kindly sent your thoughts about this news. Firstly conductor training in the UK will not finish once the final Wolverhampton intake complete their course. Yes, we will be establishing an independent conductive college during 2011. The degree course will remain and we are taking advantage of 'new' systems of accreditation. We are still in the process of confirming this with a local university and of course we will make a statement once it is all confirmed. I have also been involved in this training course since its inception in 1997 and therefore both professionally and personally I can assure everyone in the CE world that NICE will continue with degree training in the future and that new students will start from 2012. The content, structure and practice elements of the course will remain as present; the only change (unnoticeable to students and/or employers) will be the structure behind the course. The conductive college will also be establishing a range of courses which will help promote training and development in CE worldwide. As soon as all these elements are confirmed we will put a statement out letting everyone know of this exciting development. I anticipate that this will happen within the next two months. So not really a sad day but the end of one era and the starting of a new one. 

Friday, 25 March 2011 at 11:52:00 GMT  
Blogger Andrew Sutton said...

Someone else with a problem posting a comment: Rowena Somogyváry writes –

Very sorry to note this news but I'm sure it's not the demise of CE graduate training in the UK. There must be another university that would be glad to validate a degree course in CE, and if September 2011 is scheduled to see the last intake then there is more than a year to establish an independent college as suggested in the article in "Special Children".

All recognition should be given those who established and maintained the excellent course at Wolverhampton University – the benefits to the Conductor trainees as well as the students and their parents have been life-changing. 

Rowena Somogyvary

Friday, 25 March 2011 at 12:40:00 GMT  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Tünde Rózsahegyi writes –

I would like to comment on Mandy's letter about UW and the decision which was made about stopping the CE course.

The process of closing down collaboration with partnership colleges and establishments started last year; much before CE was on the agenda many long-standing collaborative practices were stopped. In fact CE was one of the last...

You are absolutely right about the university being proud of the BA Hons in CE – as well as other courses such as IDEE – no doubts about this and the rationale for this down-sizing definitely is economic rather than professional; but at the time, when 167 staff already took voluntary redundancy and perhaps further down the line there are more redundancies to come due to changes in students’ fees etc., it is not difficult to envisage why the university protects its own courses.

Apart from those who have been involved with the CE course many others have had some hard moments about letting courses and partnerships go which were part of the School for a long time.

On the positive side I think this is an important time for the future of our profession. Thanks for Mel for the clarification and the info about the innovative plan to establish the 'conductive college'. It must be hard to go through the process of validating and starting something again, but let’s hope the 17 years experience will help.

Being in the HE system, I know how hard is to do anything new at the moment due to the financial restrictions and uncertainties that every HE and FE place faces (just think about the national strike yesterday), so credit to Mel for working something out.

Please keep us informed. Thanks.

Saturday, 26 March 2011 at 13:02:00 GMT  
Blogger Susie Mallett said...

I have been reading in the English newspapers about the decisions being made about the fees to be charged for degree courses. The most expensive could cost as much as 9,000 pounds a year. I cannot imagine there are many eighteen-year olds who are willing to get themselves into debt of up to 36,000 pounds before they are even out in the big wide world earning.

It is hardly surprising that I hear from a friend, who works in the admissions department of a university in the south of England, that he is working over-time on the phone advising students whose courses have been cut. Part of his job is to tell them that due to low numbers their chosen course has been cut and to advise them on which courses still have places which they could apply for instead.

Of course we would not hear this happening in the case of degrees in CE. A student applying for a course in sculptural design at an art college is possibly interested enough to apply for a fine arts degree or a course in ceramics or look for another university with a similar course, but it does not work like this with CE.

If you want to be a conductor you have no alternative than to do the degree in conductive education. If this is cut then the students need to think of a new profession, there is no other university or other course, except, at the moment, in another country. That would then entail foreign student fees and maybe a foreign language to boot!

Lots to read here on this state of affairs:


Saturday, 26 March 2011 at 13:47:00 GMT  
Blogger Andrew Sutton said...

Emma McDowell writes –

I read through the correspondence and am still bewildered and surprised at the University of Wolverhampton’s decision. It somehow doesn’t fit into the wider – and higher - political and economic picture. Conductorship as a profession is not a “luxury” (as some of the Arts courses may be regarded) it is an increasing necessity. Since it is straddling areas of health and social care, it is helping to prevent the gradual onset of more serious chronic conditions. These will cost much more to the State, the Tax- Payer and to the individual person and their families than the sum total of the higher educational input.

Therefore this should be one of those courses which are subsidized, instead of cut. A  related profession which is recognized of being of increased importance with the changes in the population structure has been elevated to graduate status only, and applications to enter the relevant university courses are well oversubscribed. Reason: students receive a substantial grant (yes, STILL!!) to become Social Workers.  

I find it grossly unjust and short-sighted, if young people who feel that they could become Conductors would be punished rather than rewarded for choosing this vocation.


Monday, 28 March 2011 at 20:36:00 BST  

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