State funded Waldorf school opened
Waldorf school is opened in Somerset by a group of parents strongly believing in Steiner Waldorf educational system.
Free schools are one of the coalition government's flagship policies, promising more freedom for teachers and more choice for parents. The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has said state-funded free schools take money away from mainstream schools. Those behind the project in Frome aim to eventually cater for up to 640 pupils and the admissions policy will be based on the school's catchment area.
The Frome Steiner Academy will also be the first free school in Somerset.
Guy Marson, from the Frome Steiner School project said: "I'm a huge fan of Waldorf schools, it holds children really well through their education, it engages them in their learning and I would love to have them opened up to other children in the community."
Roland Hurrell teaches history at Frome College and is an NUT representative. He said: "I believe whole-heartedly there shouldn't be elitism in education, I believe there is a place for Steiner education theory but not as part of something that is funded by the taxpayer. We are suffering huge cutbacks in education and yet the government is prepared to pay millions to fund free schools - this sounds like private schools funded by the taxpayer, I don't believe in it."
Rudolf Steiner's educational philosophy
Waldorf school education is based on the ethos of Austrian educationalist Rudolf Steiner. A Rudolf Steiner education philosophy aims to provide equal attention to the "physical, emotional, intellectual, cultural and spiritual needs of each pupil" in a system "designed to work in harmony with the different phases of the child's development". Previously a separate group applied to open Frome Free School but their application was rejected and they also lost their appeal.
I personally think, that it's ironic that given the current state of British education, *anyone* could say "I believe there is a place for Steiner education but not as part of something that is funded by the taxpayer". Seriously, till British education gets itself out of the quagmire it's in, I think *anything* new is worth a punt!