Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hereford Steiner Academy gets go-ahead

Schools Minister, Andrew Adonis, has given the go ahead for the Hereford Steiner Academy to open in September 2008.

The Academy is sponsored by the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship and will be the first school in the UK to offer free Steiner education. The Hereford Steiner Academy will replace the Hereford Waldorf School and will have around 290 pupils aged three to 16 years on its roll when it opens in September. The school will benefit from significant capital investment from central government which will be used to refurbish much of the school's existing site as well as developing new teaching facilities.

The Principal of the new Academy, Trevor Mepham, said:

"We are delighted to become the first Steiner school in the UK to offer publicly-funded Steiner education and we look forward to opening in September. This is an opportunity for us to participate in the broader educational discourse; to listen, to learn and to contribute our own ideas, approaches and experiences."

Sylvie Sklan, chair of the transitional board of governors and lead representative for the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship, said:

"We are very pleased that the Academies programme has enabled us to make the Steiner curriculum more open and accessible. The new Academy will provide greater choice for the parents of Herefordshire and enable more children to benefit from this creative education."

Schools Minister, Andrew Adonis, said:

"The academies programme is all about raising standards and offering choice for parents, so I'm delighted that the first state funded Steiner school can now open as an academy.
"Academies are allowed a flexible curriculum and an independent governing board, which is where they fit with the Steiner ethos. Academies are popular with parents, with on average three applications for every place and I'm sure the Hereford Steiner Academy will be no less popular."

There are currently 26 schools teaching Steiner education in the UK and Steiner schools are part of mainstream state-funded education in the majority of European countries. Founded in 1919, Steiner curriculum puts equal emphasis on emotional and academic learning and Steiner schools welcome pupils from all faiths and backgrounds.