Letters have been written to the Department for Education alerting Michael Gove to the dangers of Steiner schools. There is also a letter from Mr Gove himself four years ago acknowledging receipt of parents’ concerns and stating his promise to look in to the matter.
Since that time there has been alleged abuse at a Steiner school, there have been poor Ofsted reports and schools closing, and yet the DfE have approved more Steiner free schools.
The serious incidents so far have occurred at independent schools, but as we have shown, there is no difference apart from the funding arrangements. Anthroposophically trained teachers are employed, and staff are affiliated to the Anthroposophical Society and the School of Spiritual Science. The aim is the same; the spiritual indoctrination of children.
Trevor Mepham head of the Frome Steiner Academy is an example of an anthroposophist teacher, and yet he denies on BBC tv knowing that Steiner believed in reincarnation. This kind of dissimulation is rife, with schools continuing to deny anthroposophy is taught to the children.
Anthroposophy is taught to children every day in every Steiner school, and staff use it as their framework.
Eurythmy is not just “poetic movement” or whatever ambiguous description the schools try to put on it; it is deeply religious for Steiner followers, and obligatory in a Steiner school – the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship insists on it in any school bearing the Steiner name. It is used as therapy for perceived imperfections in children, and as we saw in a comment from a parent, in their case constituted the abuse of their 6 year-old child.
The SWSF also insist on children categorised according to the imaginary temperaments Steiner was so fond of (which is in fact discrimination), and Steiner prayers are said in school.
The same parent told us what happened when permission to opt out of such rituals was requested; no accommodation was made.
What is Mr Gove’s department waiting for? How many more serious incidents and complaints do there have to be before Steiner schools are taken off the approval list for free schools? Steiner schools have operated in exactly the same way for nearly a hundred years. They will never change – Aberdeen has demonstrated that – they chose to close than change their practices as advised by Ofsted.
The phone –hacking trial came to a conclusion with a conviction recently, after years of delays and denials that it ever took place at all. Must it be this way with Steiner schools too?
Parents who once suffered in isolation believing they were the only victims of Steiner education are now linking up with others and realising the whole system is at fault; it is not a failing of the children or their parents, as the schools would have us believe, but of a secretive and destructive cult which has wormed its way in to the state system by deception and obfuscation.
The DfE has been alerted, and it is their responsibility to act on these warnings and thoroughly investigate what is going on in Steiner schools.