I blogged recently (New Schools. The Tories Big Idea for Education?) about Tory policy for opening schools to new providers along Swedish lines, and the potential thereby for conductive education in the UK. The Government has also recently broadened the rules on the setting up of Academy Schools to admit new sponsors, that might also have benefit for CE providers.
In that previous blog I asked two questions, the second of which was:
"Do we dare to imagine (and build the platform for) an association of Conductive Education schools across the UK, based in existing schools and centres and ones to be set up in future?".
Andrew Sutton was kind enough to comment favourably on the suggestion.
By "association" I meant no more than the ordinary meaning of the word, the coming together of parties for some particular purpose. (To be clear, I was not calling for a new Association with a capital 'A'.)
I had in mind one purpose: the exploration of the benefits of coming together to take advantage, if advantage can be found, of the Tory proposals or, as it turns out, of the newly announced arrangements for Academy schools.
I had in mind that with the election looming and with the outcome, according to most pundits, like it or not, now a foregone conclusion in favour of the Tories, now might be just the right time for conductive education schools and centres to come together to seek to influence future government education policy as regards arrangements for new schools.
We at Paces are seeking to do just that. You might be doing the same - to influence politicians. My instinct is that the time is right to do so and is better done pulling together from across the UK, rather than individually, alone and separately.
There is, I suggest, much to be gained (including business model and financial benefits) from CE "centres" aspiring to become "schools"; of centres with such an aspiration coming together with existing CE schools; and together campaigning around a new (call it what you like) group, consortium, conglomerate, federation.
If any CE centre or school, anywhere in the UK, however small, can see potential benefit in coming together for yourselves and your own plans, I would be delighted to hear from you with a view to an initial conversation.