Thursday, 7 July 2011

A conductor's job at a time of change

What will be made of it?

Twenty-odd years ago the Grauniad newspaper blew rather cool on Conductive Education, standing comparatively aloof of reporting the issue, while the rest of the British media got on with its CE feeding frenzy of brave mums off to Budapest and enraged physiotherapists. Perhaps it feared that there was something at the heart of CE that would offend elements of the liberal-progressive consensus of the time, not least its inclusionist ideology. Tempora mutantur and it is nice to see a conductor job advertised in the Guradian, possible the first such advert to appear in   British national newspaper.

British readers of Conductive World will expect the Guardian to get details wrong. Indeed, the newspaper has for years taken a perverse pride in this. On would expect, however, its advertisers to do rather better than the editorial deparment.

Conductive Education Conductor
(Specialist teaching assistant of pupils with cerebral palsy)
Required from September 2011, we seek to appoint an experienced Part-time Conductor to work on a one to one basis with a secondary aged pupil, to provide Conductive Education and in class support. Experience and suitable specialist training is a requirement. The role will involve working approximately 3 days a week and may involve some residential work.

To add insult to injury, the school's own website innocently lists this job under NON-TEACHING VACANCIES:

I cannot immediately quantify how this is reflected in salary.

The family is also to advertising this job   

...a conductor to work as a full time support, paid for by the LEA.... Ideally a conductor with teaching assistant qualifications would suit but a qualified conductor is next best.

Whilst it is wonderful and amazing that the local authority has been persuaded to pay for a child to attend an independent school, with input from a conductor, one has to wonder what the local authority believes that it is paying for.

Loughborough is a nice town, and the school looks a lovely working environment:

The right conductor might develop this into a wonderful job, a real asset to pupils, parents and school – as long as the expectations of everyone involved permit and nurture this.

Indexes of change
  • It is an amazing index of something (a definite plus for CE in the UK) see a conductor's job advertised in the Guardian.
  • The nature of the job shows remarkable change since the last conductor positions were set up and ran their course in a comparable school, St Rose's in Stroud, (possibly a plus – that must remain to be seen).
  • But  a 'teaching assistant': what a humilating diminution in the public role and status of the conductor over the years (definitely a minus).
  • The world has moved on. Exciting thing have been and are being done in CE – the ACE Project at Great Barr, not a thousand miles from Loughborough) could be especially instructive here – but in the era of information Conductive Education remains very poor at communicating what it is and can do, even to its friends (a longstanding minus that is getting worse).
Wishing them well
I doubt that many suitable candidates for this job will routinely scan the Guardian's jobs pages. Reporting this here on Conductive World and its associated Facebook and Twitter pages will doubtless broaden the potential market, and I am also informing the headteacher that he might also advertise on CONDUCTIVE EDUCATION JOBS:
Good luck to everyone in making something of this role. As ever in Conductive Education, it is not what is that matters  but what people create beyond and above this.

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Anonymous KS said...

I did actually apply for the job and was told that the salary was 12,000 pro-rata. I nearly fell off my chair- felt somewhat an insult after all of my training and 17 years experience! Shows that there is still a lot of misunderstanding about what a conductor is and does!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011 at 22:08:00 BST  

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