Some more facts about and consequences of the opening of a new free school in Stroud have emerged.
Stroud does not need another school; there is no need in the town for any more school places. The Steiner Free School team know this.
They also know that if the proposed new school opens here there will be a surplus of school places, and that there is concern among local people about the subsequent closure of some of the much valued smaller primary and secondary schools in the area.
They acknowledge this and are unapologetic about their determination to press ahead with their plans.
The location of the proposed school is unknown; this would be decided by the Education Funding Agency should the application be successful.
The catchment area for a new school would therefore not necessarily include the homes of those who have supported the bid thus far.
“The team” say they are not worried about this as people are prepared to move in to the catchment area for a Steiner school. This assumption says much about the kind of families who are interested in sending their children to the school – those who have the option of relocating at will.
It does not sound as though the school will be attracting a wide range of families from Stroud. With families moving to the school area it is easy to imagine a kind of Steiner enclave where those outside the “movement” could start to feel uncomfortable.
A Steiner education is a lifestyle choice, for which people are prepared to make many changes in their lives; moving house is just one of those changes.
Anthroposophy is the reason for the choice, whether people realise this or not.
Anthroposophy is a bizarre occultist belief system, which most people have not even heard of.
Those who run Steiner schools are concerned about “nurturing the esoteric community which is the true heart of the Waldorf school.” (Teacher’s handbook page 19.)
Esoteric means secret or mysterious, in case you didn’t know; Best to learn these things before you sell up and move house to be in the catchment area of a school based on anthroposophy.