What is the evidence to support Steiner Schools?

Katherine wants to know about Steiner Schools.  She is attracted to them for her young daughter but what is the evidence for their effectiveness?  She has heard about some of their stranger practices but are they myths?

Jo Pearce has studied Steiner schools and specifically their approach to spirituality.  She reviews the evidence and recommends an overview of these schools that gives a balanced picture of their contribution to education.  She also explains the key tenets of the Steiner approach and reflects on the relationship between the schools and the government.


One thought on “What is the evidence to support Steiner Schools?

  1. Thanks for this interview. I’d like to focus my comment on the issue of unchecked bullying which was touched upon when the Newsnight piece last year and the report from Sweden were brought up.

    The issue of unchecked bullying in Steiner is sadly very real. You’re right that neither side during the Newsnight piece could provide evidence either way, but we can.

    This is based on what happened to my children at a Steiner school, a Steiner school, I must stress, which also happens to be that country’s Steiner headquarters, and the people that were responsible for what happened to my children also control the HQ and speak for Steiner in that country.

    Put simply, the school expelled my children because they didn’t deal with the unchecked bullying in my eldest daughter’s class. Bullying which included her being threatened with an axe by another pupil.

    They told us the reason they couldn’t implement some kind of zero tolerance of bullying was due to the school’s Anthroposophical impulse.

    An article in the school newsletter even said that to stop a bully could lead them to become addicted to computer games.

    You might say that this is merely anecdotal, but our case was resolved through Human Rights mediation (the first time this was ever done with a Steiner school), so we have a legally binding document about what happened which you can read here: http://www.titirangisteinermessenger.com

    If you’re looking for an example closer to home, check out what happened at Norwich Initiative Steiner School:


    And more worryingly, check this article should you want to see how Steiner schools treat families who raise concerns. This is a pattern that is repeated worldwide and is deeply troubling:


    Forget about teeth, 7-year life cycles, pseudoscience and the like, what makes Steiner communities believe they can vilify and shun entire families, and cause untold damage to children supposedly in their care, in the name of their pedagogy?


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