Steiner School may have a dark side
The local Steiner school has just found a new site in Exeter University, the previously fee paying school will become a free school giving a real alternative choice for parents. Right now the school has a temporary home at Foxhays in Exwick and before then they operated from the huts in Belmount Park. Now the school is a popular free school will be available to all and is so in demand it has a waiting list.
A Stiener school is based on Steiner's philosophy, he opened schools in 1919 to educate the children of tobacco workers. This is a wholesome education that can be interpreted by the teacher the official Steiner website tells the reader that these schools will help a child be creative and questioning. There is less pressure on children to read and pass exams.
There are aspects of a Steiner education that are more controversial. Steiner schools have been called "unvaccinated communities" as parents tend not to get their children vaccinated, this is because the school has a different approach to health in general believing that even serious illnesses are part children's spiritual development Steiner schools say immunization is up to parents.
Part of the Steiner way may involve putting children in a category, part of the Steiner ethos is to read a child's characteristics by their body shape and clothing. Handbooks tell teachers to look at a spiritual realm and categorize child as various entities. Some may think this is harmless but could this categorization of children be damaging? Many websites deny they use this part of the educational program.
There have also been allegations of unchecked bullying, the schools believe in a "gentle" approach to discipline, there have been nasty allegations of bullying that have not been properly dealt with. This is again seen as part of childhood. The Bristol Steiner school has a robust anti bullying policy that concentrates on sorting the problem out on an emotional level, an interesting sentiment in the policy is "there is no blame"
Exeter Steiner school tells readers that the school does not teach Steiner's strange philosophy but many have pointed out people would object to the stranger parts of the ethos.
So Steiner, good or bad, please tweet your experiences.
So are Steiner schools a great education or a dangerous idea? Please tell me.