Conductive Education will be available in Taranaki from next month

Zak Nielsen, who is nearly 6, tries out the new climbing wall at the Conductive Education classroom at Westown School.
ANDY JACKSON/STUFF

Zak Nielsen, who is nearly 6, tries out the new climbing wall at the Conductive Education classroom at Westown School.

It's taken three years and lots of hard work, but Taranaki's first Conductive Education Centre will open next month.

The Conductive Education Taranaki Trust has secured a classroom at Westown School and the teacher, called a conductor, arrives in August.

The Conductive Education Trust has been been fundraising for the last three years, coordinator Craig Nielsen said.

A new Conductive Education unit is set to open at Westown School thanks to a massive fundraising effort. Kathryn Grant ...
ANDY JACKSON/STUFF

A new Conductive Education unit is set to open at Westown School thanks to a massive fundraising effort. Kathryn Grant from TSB Community Trust, Zak Nielsen, 5, who will attend the unit, and Westown School principal Kim Theyers.

Conductive education is therapy that improves the quality of life for children with neuro-motor disorders. Until now, Taranaki parents had been regularly travelling to Hamilton or Wellington, so their children could attend sessions. 

Having a centre in Taranaki would make life easier for them, Nielsen said.

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"It's a huge burden lifted from families who've had to travel weekly with their kids to access conductive education. It's a massive opportunity for local kids who can how have regular access to holistic, family-friendly special education. We couldn't be happier."

The conductor is Hungarian and will be coming to New Zealand from Norway, he said.

"But she has spent five years in New Zealand and is a New Zealand citizen. She understands the system and the people."  

The centre is designed to create a motivating, family-friendly environment, he said.

"The idea is that children are inspired and encouraged to learn through music and play. We needed a place that didn't just pay lip-service to diversity, respect and inclusiveness, but actively practised them and that's what we found at Westown School." 

So far 18 children have enrolled - one from Whanganui, four from Hawera, two from Stratford and the rest from New Plymouth.  

Westown School principal Kim Theyers said the school had the resources to support Conductive Education Taranaki and it was a good partnership for the school.

"We welcome them here with open arms."

The children will go to Westown School for their sessions with the conductor and then return to their own school, she said.

TSB Community Trust grants and programme advisor Kathryn Grant said the TSB Community Trust had provided support to the Conductive Education Taranaki Trust since 2016. 

"To date a total of $137,330 has been granted to the Trust towards set up costs, programme costs and purchasing capital equipment," she said. 

 - Stuff

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