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Sheffield UK
Former CEO & Co-Founder of Paces; Dad to Sarah, a young woman with cerebral palsy, living independently thanks to Conductive Education
Recent Activity
This is a translation from Russian, using Google Translate, of an article link posted by Andrew Sutton on Facebook, for which there is not otherwise an English language version. ( Andrew, the author, comments on Facebook that the article, written in 2008, was “a little optimistic in the event”. For those who may be interested, the original article, with its accompanying photographs, can be found at Here is the article in English translation (with American spelling!): Andrew Sutton, psychologist,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2021 at C.E. Jottings
In January of this year the UK Government announced a review of children's social care, with the intent to invite "a wide range of views to feed into the review’s work". As one vehicle for such views, the Review recruited an "Experts by Experience Board". If you have any interest whatsoever in children's social care in the UK - and I assume everyone working in conductive education in the UK will do so - then my single purpose here is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2021 at C.E. Jottings
Two news items earlier this week: the report in Charity Today “Children’s Disability Charity Launches New Occupational Therapy and Sensory Integration Service” and the announcement by Action Cerebral Palsy of the All-Party Parliamentary Group’s report “Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and Investment”. Charity Today has this to say: “CPotential is a one-stop-shop of rehabilitation services for children with movement disorders. The charity also offers physiotherapy, conductive... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2021 at C.E. Jottings
In the summer of 2007, I had the great and unforgettable good fortune to be awarded a Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship: for 3 weeks in Canada and the United states and later in the year to the World Congress of Conductive Education in Göteborg, Sweden. If you have not heard of the Churchill Travel Fellowships, I strongly urge you to check them out. The application process couldn't be easier nor the interviews more friendly and, what's more, the Fellowship will... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2021 at C.E. Jottings
"Time present and time past / Are perhaps both present in time future / And time future contained in time past." T.S. Eliot. Burnt Norton. (Four Quartets) Last Friday, under the headline "New home at last for treasured city charity", the Sheffield Star reported the opening of Paces' new office and adult services base at Smithy Wood. Amidst the celebrations, the congratulations and the plans for the future, maybe a moment can be spared to remember those who came before?... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2021 at C.E. Jottings
Are we stuck with hand-me-down institutions? A report published earlier this week sets out 'damning' conclusions about the quality of information and guidance (IAG) available to young people and their families when choosing further education. The report, "How young peoplewith special educational needs and disabilities find out about their post-16 options" published by Natspec, the association for specialist colleges, was based in part on a survey of parents of young children aged 15-25. "The findings were worse than we imagined".... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2021 at C.E. Jottings
I don't know that we talk much about cerebral palsy and pain. It's certainly not a subject that I recall much comment on in conductive education. So it is especially interesting to read a new blog posting by "disability blogger and freelance writer" Chloe Tear, about her personal experience of managing pain as an adult with cerebral palsy. "Experiencing pain when you have cerebral palsy (CP) is very common, especially in adulthood," begins Chloe, adding near the end "One explanation... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2021 at C.E. Jottings
Conductive education seems almost wholly to have moved away from blogs as a means of sharing news and reflections. Not so in other areas of interest: Family History and Genealogy, for instance, or Disability, where there is still a wealth of must-read blogs. There's still much on Facebook that's worth reading; there are any number of websites and newsletters. Personally, I am tiring of Facebook - largely because of the incessant intrusions into my timeline but also because of a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2021 at C.E. Jottings
"It is not just the absence of disease or preservation of function that we should be concerned with, but the potential for a continuing development throughout life. Cerebral function is not like cardiac or renal function, which proceeds autonomously, almost mechanically, in a fairly uniform way throughout life. The brain/mind, in contrast, is anything but automatic, for it is always seeking to categorise and recategorise the world, to give meaning to its own experience. "It is the nature of living... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2019 at C.E. Jottings
"Britain’s cruel care system shames us all" by Ian Birrell in "The Times" today. "The details are shocking. A troubled girl just 14 years old, sent for the first time into a place of supposed sanctuary for her psychiatric problems. She was subjected to the terror of physical restraint by four adults on her second day, then many more times over subsequent weeks. She was forcibly injected with drugs. She was bullied. And then she killed herself, despite warnings about... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2019 at C.E. Jottings
A Fitbit. For someone who doesn’t walk or take the stairs. Is there any point? Discuss, please. So asked Glenda Watson-Hyatt on Facebook a few days ago. Glenda’s interest was in how much, as an electric wheelchair user, she actually moves. If you’d like to read the whole fascinating series of comments and discussion that followed, you can find it here. Some of the comments focused factually on what a FitBit can actually do: from the maybe well-known such as... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2019 at C.E. Jottings
West Ham beat Newcastle Untied 2-0 at the weekend. I watched the first half on TV. To be honest, I wasn’t terribly interested in either side and it wasn’t a top game. When West Ham went 2-0 up just before half-time, I switched the TV off. Nothing much happened in the second half, it seems. No goals anyway. Actually, I was only filling time, waiting for my grandson to contact me on FaceTime. He’d just got the results of an... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2019 at C.E. Jottings
I wrote last about Trusteeship ... on Trustees' role as Guardians of the definition of success and how soccer clubs treasure "a sense of what they stand for, what they are and a respect for those who have 'gone before’" Another way of saying the 'definition of success' is 'Purpose'. So how about this from today's Independent? "Never underestimate the power of a purpose. From Klopp’s Liverpool to Warnock’s Cardiff, from Pep’s City to Pulis’s Middlesbrough, the modern club -... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2019 at C.E. Jottings
A few days ago, I had a brief email exchange with Andrew Sutton about Trusteeship. The topic was prompted by Stick 'n Step's detailed description of the Trustee role which they were seeking to fill (not an easy task at the best of times - so good luck). I happened to comment to Andrew that the best summary I'd ever been told of what it was to be a Trustee was also the briefest: "Trustees are the guardians of the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2019 at C.E. Jottings
A moment ago, I was on Gill Maguire's Conductive Education Information website searching for something, and was reminded of this posting "Air, Food & Experience" by Judit Szathmary. If you've not read it, you should. If you did read it when Judit published it November, then I urge you to read it again, as I have just done. "There is a significantly different experience between mainstream special education combined with therapy and conductive movement pedagogy. Conductive movement pedagogy is about... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2018 at C.E. Jottings
To the eye of this parent and English-trained teacher, the Petö Institute could be a challenging environment. One of the more curious features of conductive education as practised at Kútvölgyi út was the responsibility taken by Conductors for the equipment they worked with and the rooms they worked in, including responsibility at the end of one working day for cleaning and setting up their room for the next day's session. As I came to understand Conductive Education, or Conductive Movement... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2018 at C.E. Jottings
A week ago last Wednesday, I spent a very pleasurable and interesting 30 minutes at the presentation by Masters' students from Sheffield University Architecture Department, of a design for a new facility for Paces Sheffield "to create one of the leading purpose-built conductive education centres in the country." (Andrew Sutton's Facebook post "Something of wider significance at Paces Sheffield" has some useful links.) The students had clearly put a lot of work into their proposed design and presentation. The 3-D... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2018 at C.E. Jottings
Four unrelated events have recently come my way : One: I've recently been working to recover the website for the Sheffield Symposium on adult and continuing conductive education that was thought to have been 'terminated' (I'll let you know when it's back online); Two: The report of the year long EU Erasmus Project on adults and conductive education is imminent. I'm looking forward to reading it; Three: Paces Sheffield, working with architecture Masters' students from Sheffield University is undertaking a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2018 at C.E. Jottings
Searching for something else, I came across this earlier today. Written when our daughter Sarah was 18 (so about 2000), for a purpose long since forgotten, possibly publication, its subject is the transition from children' services to adults' services, from childhood to adulthood. It's a bleak picture as bleak as the Joseph Rowntree Report that it refers to "Hurtling Into A Void?" Would that someone could tell me how much better transition is for young people and their families today,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2018 at C.E. Jottings
I'll keep this brief: Have you or anyone you know ever had the opportunity to design dedicated spaces specifically for adult and continuing conductive education services? If so, I'd love to hear from you at [email protected] Many thanks. Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2018 at C.E. Jottings
How important to motivation is the Group in conductive education? Consider: " The traditional view of motivation was individualistic. Humans were deemed to be rational maximisers of self-interest. If you want someone to do something, pay them. If you want them to try harder, increase the size of the bonus. This remains the dominant paradigm in business and, indeed, economic theory" "We are belatedly discovering, however, that humans are not economic automatons. We are not interested merely in self-enrichment. We... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2018 at C.E. Jottings
Questions are being asked about the integrity of a top UK charity's governance and prudent use of charitable funds, after it paid a large sum to a departing chief executive in return for a confidentiality agreement. According to The Times yesterday, the Charity Commission has sought "urgent assurances" from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) about a payment made to its former CEO in return for which a confidentiality agreement prevents him from discussing the... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2018 at C.E. Jottings
Continued from "Fat-Cat Academy Pay Costs Pupils, Say MPs" My interest in the recent story from The Times under the headline "Fat-Cat Academy Pay Costs Pupils, Say MPs" was not prompted by an a priori antagonism to Academies nor to highly-paid individuals. What prompted it I merely hinted at – and then not well - in the final sentence: “…the intrusion of corporatisation even into the charity sector”. What’s this to do with conductive education, some will ask. I suggest... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2018 at C.E. Jottings
That was the headline of an article by Rosemary Bennett, Education Editor of The Times, March 30th. Here are two extracts: School academies that pay their executives and head teachers fat-cat salaries are depriving the front line of vital funds, MPs say. The lack of accountability is "alarming" and in most cases pay packages of more than £150,000 have not been adequately explained, a Commons committee has said. Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the public accounts committee, told The Times that... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2018 at C.E. Jottings