Steiner Academy Exeter has been working hard at getting parents to give feedback on the school on the Parent View page of the Ofsted website.
Last time I wrote about this there had only been 21 responses, now there are 115.
So what do we find in terms of how happy parents are with the school which opened under 2 years ago? Sadly, a great deal of disappointment for families who must have anticipated a good education and a happy experience for their child at a new Academy.
Look at the figures;
This school makes sure its pupils are well behaved; 34% disagree and 6% don’t know
This school is well led and managed; 27% disagree and 8% don’t know
This school deals effectively with bullying; 30% disagree and 17% don’t know
This school deals effectively with concerns I raise; 29% disagree
26% would not recommend this school to another parent
Compared with other schools these results are extremely poor. I tried looking at the results for a variety of schools and none were anywhere near as bad as this.
Problems stem from anthroposophy, where there is a belief in karma, and have been going on in Steiner schools for almost a century. The fact that Exeter is a gleaming new state-funded academy has not erased the problems; the belief system remains the same and it is used in the same way; spiritual development as specified by Rudolf Steiner is the aim of Steiner education; all his hierarchies, etheric bodies, elemental beings, post Atlantean epochs and crazy imaginary ideas about history, science and religion, this is what the Steiner movement thinks is important, not the effective running of a school or making sure children do not suffer.
The bullying and poor standards of behaviour are not difficult to understand when you read a little about how karma is viewed in anthroposophy, but the fact that Steiner schools are often poorly run is harder to explain; in his accounts of life within the movement Gregoire Perra has explained how teachers struggle to do their jobs whilst working in an environment where their own spiritual development is as important as the teaching they do; they are expected to meditate and follow Steiner’s doctrine according to the directions from the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship and ultimately from Dornach.
It is not difficult to see that with all this specialised extra “personal development” going on, the priorities of Steiner teachers are not necessarily those we would expect of a state school teacher.
Whatever the reasons for choosing a Steiner education these unsuspecting parents made a decision to reject mainstream in favour of something they thought was better, and for many this has proved to be a mistake. This mistake has been made all over the world for decades and children have suffered because the extent to which anthroposophy is used has been hidden and denied; in short there is deception, and now with state-funded free schools and academies, the deception is on a grand scale.