What is the MOVE Programme


The MOVE Programme began in the 1980s; Dr. Linda Bidabe, a Special Needs Teacher from California, created the programme. Linda was part of a growing realisation that children with complex and physical needs were not learning the vital mobility skills they need to access education and prepare for their adult lives.

In response, she developed a mobility programme designed to feature motivating and functional movement practices at every opportunity. This concept spread rapidly to other schools and organisations and in 1991, the first official MOVE Programme was written.

In 1994, the charity MOVE International was established to promote the programme in the US, three years later MOVE Europe was set up to coordinate the programme in the UK and across Europe.

MOVE Europe

MOVE Europe is a UK based charity organisation, linked to the Enham Trust. MOVE Europe currently support 115 special schools to deliver the MOVE Programme to over 1,000 children with physical needs across the UK. MOVE Europe also work with a number of European organisations, with hubs in Denmark, Austria, Germany and Russia.

MOVE Europe’s role is to train and educate school staff, healthcare staff and support workers in the MOVE Programme. They provide ongoing support for each organisation they train so that the organisations can achieve the best outcomes for children with physical needs they support. Each year MOVE Europe are bringing more and more settings on board.

The MOVE Programme is…..

MOVE is an activity-based, goal directed programme that enables individuals with complex and, or physical needs to gain independent movement to the best of their ability. It uses the combined approach of education, therapy and family knowledge to teach the skills of sitting, standing, walking and transferring. Each participant following the Programme will have a personalised programme with them and their family at the centre of the approach.

The programme’s central philosophy is the movement is the foundation for learning. A toddler learning to walk, learns the special concepts about the world around them by being able to move and explore. A child with complex and, or physical needs who uses a wheelchair is reliant on others for movement, as they are often not able to move themselves easily. On the other hand, simply not had the opportunities to try. These children’s opportunities for learning are therefore significantly diminished.

The aim of the MOVE Programme is to offer functional movement opportunities to individuals with complex and, or physical needs opening up and transforming the world around them creating an accessible, interesting and educational world full of opportunity and choices.

The programme builds around six steps that are used collaboratively in all aspects of an individual’s life, by all the people that work, support and live with that person. It is not a therapy technique just for professionals; it gives equal worth to the input and knowledge of everyone involved. The individual their and family are placed at the centre of the programme and it is their goals and desires that the whole team focus on.

The six steps:

1.Assessment   Where is the individual now?
2.Goal Setting    Where does he/she want to get to?
3.Task AnalysisWhat skills are needed to get there?
4.Prompt MeasurementWhat support is currently required?
5.Prompt Adjustment What support will be needed to achieve the goal?
6.Teaching the Skills How do you ensure the individual reaches their goal?

Brookfields MOVE Vision

‘Our MOVE Programme vision at Brookfields is to provide; via our integrated Pupil Centred approach. Working in partnership with our pupils, their families and professionals. We aim to maximise purposeful functional mobility, independence, participation in family life, daily living routines and the wider community’.

MOVE at Brookfields

Brookfields SEN School started using the MOVE programme in 2007, since then we have gained that MOVE Quality Mark 2009, and we have been a Centre of Excellence since 2011.

At Brookfields, we are committed to providing physical opportunities for all of our pupils irrespectively of their physical needs or abilities. The MOVE Programme is an integral part of the pupil’s curriculum, which is embedded into their everyday lives here at school and supports the practice of their physical skills at home too.

Brookfields is proud to offer the chance for other schools and settings to come for a visit to see MOVE in action. Working along with MOVE Europe, we have a MOVE Associate Trainer on our staff team, who can offer in-house or virtual Practitioner and Senior Practitioner training to other schools and settings who could be interested in using MOVE at their organisations.

Please contact MOVE Europe head office for details of training.

Helen Thurgood
Helen Thurgood MOVE & Manual Handling Trainer [email protected]

Helen Thurgood

MOVE Associate Trainer

MOVE Coordinator

Brookfields School

For further information about the MOVE Programme

Move Program

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