Monday, 24 September 2012


A step along the way in the UK

Some readers of yesterday's posting on Conductive World may have been puzzled by the UK Government's arrangement to grant what had been in its time a considerable financial donation towards getting work started to rebuild and extend Pető's Institute in Villányi út in Budapest:

Those who entered CE over, say, the last twenty years or so  in whatever capacity, as parents, conductors or whatever  may have little idea of the  sheer political power of the earlier national furore over CE in the UK. I suspect that this may mean the majority of those currently involved.

Here is a document to offer a glimpse of just one aspect of this complex and often confused story, illustrating an earlier government involvement that led to legislation to permit local authorities to help fund parents to take their disabled children abroad, and its then broad cross-party support...

Full debate in House of Commons, 23 October 1989

...and the opposing professional force, ultimately largely successful, to play down and oppose Conductive Education:

Guest Editorial to British Medical Journal, 4 November 1989

Things moved fast, and there was much more, then of course unforeseeable, yet to come...

Times change, obligations may stand

People and institutions move on. By 1997, when the treaty referred was finally signed, in 1997, Conductive Education had moved on, so had the UK, and so had the Pető Institute. Old obligations remained, however, even though popular interest in the UK for accessing CE had shifted from 'going to Budapest' to establishing and developing services at home, and even though home-based conductor-training was now set to commence later that year through the University of Wolverhampton.

A new phase in the internationalisation of Conductive Education was beginning, and would proceed largely without the involvement of the Pető Institute, and without need for a new building.

But that is another story, indeed a large number other stories, mostly untold and unrecorded...


1. This legislation in 1989, by the way, did not refer specifically to children with motor disorders, to Conductive Education or to the Institute in Budapest. This provision was potentially open to children with any kind of disability, going anywhere, for anything that could be shown to meet their special educational needs.

2.  I do not know whether any families outside of CE were able to avail themselves of this.

3.  Nor do I know whether this legal power still stands...

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home