Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Informed choice

Where are we now?
And more MM

Last week I remarked on my personal puzzlemement when faced with the very sort of informed choice that I have for years advocated for parents of disabled children. In my case the choice was raised by the Referendum on the UK's future voting system:

The results of the Referendum

  • In the event only fifty percent of eligible votors nationwide to took up the opportunity to vote on a matter that could be vital to the UK's future democratic process. Some of those who did not vote would have been indifferent, some might have been unable to understand the issues, some unable to decide, some angry for some other cause, and some thinking a curse on both your houses.
  • The result was not uniform across the country. Scotland had the highest turnout (just over 57%) and London the lowest (35%). This Midlands part of the realm, where I reside, fell a little short of 40%. There were political as well as demographic reasons for the variation.
  • The voting was rather higher than some had expected. The notion of 'high' is relative but, in any terms, a turnout of but a half suggests limited fervour for democratic choice on this question.
High or low, the results were 32.1% in favour of change and 67.9% to stay as we are. How very British.

This means that, on a simple two-way choice, with an approximately 50% turnout, just under 34 per cent of the total electorate – around a third – have determined that, when it comes to electing future Governmments of the United Kingdom, the voting system used shall continue with business as before and little liklihood of reopening this question in a forseeable future.

And as for Conductive Education...?

There is of course no suggestion here that there could or should be a democratic poll, plebiscite or referendum of relevant parents on whether Conductive Educatiuon should be provided for their children with motor disorders..

But what if there were? What might this show? The steam has certainly gone out of the national CE furore of twenty or so years ago. New generations of parents have arrived on the scene. How might they arrive at informed opinions on Conductive Education – indeed how might they hear of it at all?

There is no orgainised CE 'party' to press the cause. Misinformation and active dysinformation abound, however, whether passed on by fellow parents, by those who work in existing systems of provision, or on the Internet. How, how, how are young parents going to arive at an informed opinion, never mind make an an informed choice about something so life-determining? And if they do chose – on whatever basis – might half just not vote? And of those who do, might one third opt for change, and two thirds for more of the same?

I of course have no idea. But a whole generation of the conductive movement in the United Kingdom – and, I supect in similar countries too – has lived in the assumption that most parents would like a chance to decide for themselves how their children are educated and that, given such an opportunity, the majority would opt for Conductive Education. Well, maybe that was once so, maybe not – we shall probaly never know. But true of false there were certainly more than enough ardent enthisiasts about for it not to matter about winning over the don't-knows and the don't-cares – in which context Conductive Education as a whole has done very little to develop public-awarenes, public-relations and public-lobbying functions.

Given the now near unversal shortage of available finances, and the strong likllihood that we ain't seen nothing yet, Conductive Education is going to have to learn to compete for funds and for clients, in an ever tougher market, ready or not.

Meanwhile, in another part of the jungle

As part of the wider official agenda of central control of education services, England is to have 'free schools', an Orwelesque perversion of language if ever there was one! This will include 'free special schools' – or will it?

In Shefield, Norman Perrin and Paces have chosen to follow the freeschool route to creating a state-funded Conductive Education school. He reports something of the difficulties encountered on his blog, his most recent posting suggesting that this path may be long and that it is not just Conductive Education that finds it a rocky one:

Where if anywhere is this all going? I commented on Norman's blog –

Trying not to sound like Mystic Meg, I catch a glimpse of the future in which the 'free schools' are sorted, being simply establishments that follow government agendas to the letter but with some the costs provided by non-government agencies. Then through the mists then appear official concerns about the remaining independent special schools, those that have not bought in to the government whip, those that still remain un-free. What an administratively untidy raggle-taggle. What ought government to do with THEM...?

Such unquenchable paranoia!

More MMs

The previous posting here on Conductive World concluded with a comment on choice from Marilyn Monroe. This is one MM who needs no introduction, anywhere on the planet, Perhaps less universally recognised an icon is Mystic Meg, mentioned earlier in this posting:

She stands as the type of all who attempt to fortell the future in human affairs, a truly absurd exercise in the futile.

Mickey Mouse has not been forgotten, and will doubtless be returned to soon.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just written a longish response only to be told by Blooger that it cannot post my request - which has been lost.

At 3.21 in the morning, I am not excited by attempting to rewrite it.

This is an intensely irritating feature of Blogger that others have noted before me.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011 at 03:23:00 BST  

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