Friday, 16 September 2011


Legal, decent, honest and truthful?

'The successful candidate will be Peto-Institute trained...'

Such advertisements have appeared over recent years. Here is an example published today, from a local-authority school in England:

What to say?

If such an advertisement were to appear on CONDUCTIVE WORLD JOBS what might one have to comment under it?
  1. You are of course free to express your wishes how you will – but, before you do write words such as 'The successful candidate will be Peto-Institute trained' you might like to double-check the legal position in your country, to see whether this might constitute unlawful discrimination according to your employment law.
  2. Whatever your legal position, you might with to check the requirements for this job, to see whether you are needlessly limiting your field.
  3. Whatever you find, you might wish to consider whether you are causing offence.
It would then be a matter for the advertiser to take appropriately considered steps.

An interesting job

The advert continues –

Royal Park is a mainstream school with specialist provision for up to 14 children with cerebral palsy... As part of this provision we offer conductive education within the Move Curriculum.

The relationship between CE and MOVE has often been stated as though the two approaches are incompatible – or even mutually antagonistic. What has Royal Oak School achieved? This ought to be described.

Perhaps initial training at the Pető Institute offers special advantages in squaring this circle. Again, we should be told.


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Blogger Susie Mallett said...

Thank you for pointing this out, Andrew.

I am a Petö trained conductor and somehow I always find it embarrassing to read advertisements like this. I wonder what other conductors feel, both those trained in Hungary and elsewhere.

I wonder if this, and other such adverts, even include the likes of me as likely candidates for the job, or if what the centre is really after is a Hungarian conductor but feels that it would be unwise to actually state this in a public advertisement.

I also ask myself, just as you ask in your second point above: "Are they needlessly limiting the field?"


Saturday, 17 September 2011 at 01:04:00 BST  
Anonymous Dora said...

Let's be honest. The training, the service provided and the overall approach is different in the two country. However I do agree that job adverts like this are discriminative.

Saturday, 17 September 2011 at 19:42:00 BST  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Perish the thoght, Susie, that any public body ahould act in such a covert way.

And yes, Dora, of course approached differ from training course to training course.I presume from this advert that the school in question has found that the PAI's course offers something special to fit in with the MOVE curriculum. If that is the case then the advert would probably not be discriminatory as long it were to specify this particular aspect of training as a requirement rather than some generalised common background.

I am out of my depth with employment law... a lawyer is what one needs here.

Sunday, 18 September 2011 at 01:13:00 BST  
Anonymous Dóra said...

Hi Andrew,

What I meant -and perhaps you did not understand- is that a Peto graduated conductor is thought to have higher-level skills and knowledge about CE than those graduated from Birmginham. I found it very common throughout Europe from Sweden to Germany, even in the UK.

I personally dont think that the RP School mention in your post is looking for a Hungarian (Peto trained) conductor because of their MOVE curriculum.

Thursday, 22 September 2011 at 16:35:00 BST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Popped along to Royal School website and, unless I missed it, no mention of conductive education nor a Conductor specifically identified as such in their 'Who's Who' gallery

Digging a little more revealed an Ofsted report (Jan 2010) comment "The curriculum for pupils with physical disabilities is excellent. When the rest of the class have dance, they have conductive therapy with a Peto Institute-trained therapist, who also directs the teaching assistants." (found at but the site said to be "closing soon" after which you'd need to go to the original report with Ofsted).

The only other clue I could find was a posting on Facebook ( ) "It's my life Trust Fund" on 19 Nov 2010 "Our first conductive education course started last weekend at Royal Park School in Sidcup, Kent! Special thanks to Annie and Deb for lots of very hard work!" The author of the post, whose own FB page you can link to, lists "Peto Education UK" among her interests.

All very intriguing - and in a state school too. The Ofsted report's Main Findings states "Pupils' attainment has been well below the national average for several years. It has taken the tremendous energy and high expectations of the headteacher to drive improvement, so that pupils' progress is accelerating." Just a couple of sentences later "Pupils with physical disabilities have excellent provision and their independence and inclusion is fully encouraged." (The school "currently has six pupils who use wheelchairs or walking frames”.)

All-in-all, maybe grounds for optimism: a new Head teacher in a state school, a single conductor who appears to have made such an impact the Head is looking to continuing her conductive education work (please, not conductive “therapy”) during her maternity leave. Or am I just being naïve?

Friday, 23 September 2011 at 19:31:00 BST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meant to add my 'best wishes' to them in the previous Comment.

Also found "It's My Life Trust" at /

Friday, 23 September 2011 at 19:35:00 BST  
Anonymous Andrew Sutton said...

Comments on the above on Facebook Andrew Sutton 

In the five hours or so since the above note of mine was published, 45 people have clicked across from here to the notified item on Conductive World. One (usual suspect) has commented there, no one here. Funny little world, Conductive Education!

Samantha Jane Aloysius Tebb
I'm in agreement a lawyer's input would be interesting as would the reasons for deciding to chose a Peto conductor only...

Eszter Horvath Tothne

Dear colegues! I am representing Move & Walk the bigest swedisch centre for CE. I am emploing only Petö educated conductors because
in my opinion they have more pedagogical knowledge, more practise with children and adults. And last but not least it is much easier to comunicate in a team there everybody speaks the same language. We already have to learn Swedish so one more language would give us trouble.

I am very critical to the knowledge of qualified conductors because I am not providing education for conductors. I employ them and expect that they are able to set up goals, set up complex programs, lead the group, evaluate, and do administrate it. I know that there are differents beetween conductors. Therefore it is a very difficult process to choose a conductor we want to employ, who has the knowledge, fit in to the team and able to move far away from they home. English educated condoctors are doing a good job. There is a big need for they work but I would like to choose who I think the best way could do the work at our company.

Anne-Christiane Wittig

I have written my long reply and hope to post it soon – I am having some technical problems.

Gail Edgecombe

I only wish we had a programme in NZ to train our own conductors it's what is missing, (Hey! Maybe we could send them to the peto Institute Do you think the National party govt would fund it? Not likely I'm afraid

Sunday, 25 September 2011 at 17:27:00 BST  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Gabi said...
Well, this is indeed a very interesting topic... I came it across on Facebook reading Eszter's and the others comments so here I am.

My point is sort of relevant to the proposed topic but also mainly relates to the unspoken questions or beliefs or myths re Hungarian conductors vs English trained conductors etc.

I am Hungarian and trained in Budapest many years ago now and since 2000 I am working abroad. Over the last 8 years I have been working in England- responded and replied adverts which never stated specifically Brits or Hungarian or Russian etc.- only looking for conductors.

But I am sure many of you agree- and of course you can disagree with me as well- that there is indeed an unspoken, unsaid slightly different attitude towards you as a conductor when it comes to the question- so, where was your training?

I do not really understand why, to be honest- me as a Hungarian conductor never though I know more than any other nationality. Far from it.

Also to add, when I started my career: I knew that I would like to come and work in England in one day but first wanted to gain more experience and knowledge...- so made a deal with myself: after 4 years of working as a conductor- I try my luck:)

You might wonder why... well, I am sure in one way or another you came across different attitudes towards you as a conductor in different countries... Maybe not now, but certainly a good couple of years ago ...

What I mean is: you being a Hungarian conductor trained in Budapest- going abroad e.g. States or maybe elsewhere and when the magic words are spoken you might have felt that sort of mystic reaction of 'Aaaahhh, she/he is from THE Peto from Budapest....' - maybe I am exaggerating a bit- but I think you all get the picture..

Please don't take me wrong- I am NOT against the Peto Institute in Budapest- why would I, I trained there and my year was the last who were taught by Dr. Hari- golden days....

What I am trying to say...when it came to England for me- the thought of me coming to work here as a conductor...well: here is how I felt.

Everyone knows- hopefully- the main historical points of CE coming to England and what happened since than. We have NICE, we now have PCA- Professional Conductor Association- , loads of Centres across the UK, CE schools- I work in one of them- Mel Brown, you Andrew, the list is endless and not at least: REALITY!!!!

Which is crucially important- in my professional opinion.

For me, England- even before I came to work here and since I am working and living here: proved me right- meant: If I am going to say:
I am a Hungarian trained conductor - the response won't be that:
'Ahhhh, Halleluja' but it will be - very rightly so:
'Okay, so what do you know. Show it, prove yourself.'- and I love this attitude. I really do.

In my humble opinion: there is absolutely no difference whatsoever- where did you go to gain your degree. ( well, strictly sticking to this point).

I feel privileged that I had and still have the chance to work with and learn from amazing English trained conductors and conductor-teachers and also came across some Hungarian trained conductors who should not be allow to work as a conductor...( maybe this is a bit too strong but I think you all know what I mean).

I would be able to go on this topic forever, but for now let me just finish with this:

Your training (so was mine) just the first step on the road...a very long road and journey...and without personality, humbleness, cognitive abilities, constant self-evaluation, ability to analyze your practice and improve, ability to ask for help when you need it, ability to accept, learn to live within a different culture and adapt your practice, without passion and so on - no matter where you from and where you got trained.....

SATURDAY 24 SEPTEMBER 2011 15:51:00
GMT +01:00

Sunday, 25 September 2011 at 17:30:00 BST  

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