Closure of Aberdeen Steiner School

The Steiner school in Aberdeen, situated in the suburb of Cults will close this summer following a joint investigation by Education Scotland and the Care Inspectorate.

According to Stv news; “Inquiries began after the Care Inspectorate received complaints about the “staffing and care of children” at the school’s nursery.”

The BBC reported that concerns had also been raised about the school.

The Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship  stated on their website in a  press release that the school is closing for financial reasons, and suggests that “efforts …to enable wide & inclusive access to the Steiner Waldorf education. ..has impacted on the school’s budget over the years & a recent critical inspection may have, in part, been a consequence of this. ”


I have just found the Inspection report, available here. [This report has been removed following the closure of the school]

I think this is the most damning statement in the report;
“The Council of Management has tried to implement new structures to increase accountability for improving the quality of education in the kindergarten and school. Within the College of Teachers, there is resistance to such changes.”




  1. Jim

    I also read that falling rolls over several years had led to financial problems and staff cuts, hence the concerns of the inspectors. Apparently this is not the only Steiner school feeling the pressure.

    And yet we are being told that demand is high – they just want everyone else to pay for it.

  2. Helen

    I also wondered about the fallout from adverse publicity during the furore over Aberdeen University considering allowing the funding of a professorship by an anthroposophical medicine unit.
    But having read the inspection report (now linked above) on the school and nursery it is not difficult to see why there is insufficient demand to keep the school open;
    “Overall, the leadership of the kindergarten and school is not effective and there is little accountability for improving the quality of education provided. Without clear systems of governance and accountability, the kindergarten and school will have difficulty in making the necessary improvements. Staff are committed to the Steiner philosophy. They need to consider how to implement this more effectively taking into account the comments in this report.”
    The kindergarten was given the lowest grade – one, for quality of care.

  3. Steve

    Out of all the news reports about the Aberdeen Waldorf School, the article from the Press and Journal back in March was the most revealing; essentially, it’s all about unchecked bullying. What a surprise.

    Here’s a sample:

    “repeated complaints from parents over bullying of their son, which resulted in the boy being withdrawn from school after he twice came home with physical marks.”


    “Physical and verbal bullying of one girl by a male pupil over a number of years.”

    We’ve quoted from it along with parts of the report here:

  4. noellena

    I agree with a lot of what i have read about problems of accountability and a lack of clear protocols/procedures for Steiner schools dealing with bullying etc. However, all of the sites such as this one use Steiner’s esoteric philosophy as the main reason for being against the education system. What disturbs me is that in all the discourse about funding and that Steiner schools should in no way receive any state funding due to the ‘quackery/esoteric’ belief system, no mention is made about state funding of Anglican or Catholic schools in this country. In a teacher training I did, we spent time in a Catholic secondary classroom in which the RE teacher was teaching the students that Mary’s pregnancy was an ‘immaculate conception’. She talked about angels and a man who rose from dead and came back to teach his disciples after death, how he appeared to many of them. Now if this is not esoteric or along the lines of what people would consider ‘quackery’ then I don’t know what the world has come to. My children went to an Anglican primary school (the county council placed them there, many rural primaries are Anglican so there is not much choice). I would consider praying to a man in the sky an esoteric belief system. The children were also taught about the immaculate conception and resurrection etc. All state funded (along with the Anglican church). So all I’m suggesting to you is that you can’t have it both ways. Either you change your website to ‘STOP STEINER, ANGLICAN AND CATHOLICS SCHOOLS IN STROUD or take a different approach because your reasoning doesn’t make sense without including Anglican and Catholic schools.

    • Helen

      Thanks for reading and commenting, I think you must have read the “Welcome” page where I specifically mention other types of “faith schools”?

      We all know what we will get by signing up to a Church of England, Catholic or Islamic school; the religion is openly declared. Not so with Steiner. Almost no-one outside knows there is a specific set of beliefs being used.

      When people ask why we single out Steiner schools they must know that the answer is the secrecy. The belief system is hidden. Anthroposophy is either not mentioned at all, or if questioned, they will say it is not important because “we don’t teach it”. That is misleading and false.

      We were lucky to have the choice of two Primary schools near us we deliberately chose the one without the religious connections. It is scandalous that there are so many Anglican Church schools that some people now have no choice but to send their children there, but I won’t be blogging about it because it’s not a secret. The National Secular Society do excellent campaigning on this subject.
      In my opinion the proliferation of C of E schoools is the response by the church to the government allowing all kinds of religious schools to open. I heard on the radio this weekend that there are now 19 C of E schools in Gloucester. It’s like an arms race. The presenter asked “Isn’t this a kind of takeover bid on the part of the church?”

      If this country one day comes to its senses and stops allowing this divisive way of running schools, I will be delighted, but that is a different campaign to the one we run here.

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