Britain: Blair violates religion-state separation, financing Steiner school

Rudolf SteinerFrom the BBC in Britain:

A state-funded Steiner school could open in September under the government’s city academy programme.

A feasibility study on bringing the independent school in Herefordshire into the maintained sector will be put before ministers in the coming weeks.

The academy would not have to follow the national curriculum, but would introduce national tests.

The ‘city academy’ programme is Tony Blair’s privatization of education, giving opportunities to all sorts of religiously or financially motivated groups.

Steiner schools are based on the philosophy of Rudolph Steiner, who founded his first school in Germany in 1919. There are now nearly 900 around the world.

While in some countries they are publicly funded, the 23 in the UK are independent.

Both the Blair government and Waldorf schools will abandon their principles, if this goes ahead.

The Waldorf schools will ditch their principle of independence from the government.

For the Blair government, it will be part of their attacks on the separation between religion and state in education.

Officially, supporters of Rudolf Steiner, called Anthroposophists, see the teachings of their founder not as religion, but as ‘spiritual science’.

‘Science’ including belief in reincarnation.

‘Science’ including beliefs in aliens, and in ‘superior and inferior’ human races.

This also may be expressed in Waldorf education, where in The Netherlands at a Waldorf school children had to make drawings associating white blonde haired children with the beautiful sun, and black children with the dark night.

The BBC article does not mention this type of objections to Waldorf education.

Blair’s, and Ruth Kelly‘s, anti gay policies: here.

26 thoughts on “Britain: Blair violates religion-state separation, financing Steiner school

  1. President Seeks To Fund Religious Schools With Public Dollars
    Posted by: “bigraccoon” redwoodsaurus
    Sun Jan 28, 2007 5:54 am (PST)

    President Seeks To Fund Religious Schools With Public Dollars

    “The Bush administration yesterday unveiled an education plan that would allow poor students at chronically failing public schools to use federal vouchers to attend private and religious schools, angering Democrats who vowed to fight the measure. The private school vouchers, which on average would be worth $4,000, were among a series of proposals presented yesterday that President Bush hopes will be included in the reauthorization of his signature education initiative, No Child Left Behind. In a conference call with reporters, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said the initiatives were necessary to help students in the nation’s 1,800 most persistently under-performing schools. Democrats in Congress assailed the plan — which also would allow low-performing schools to override union contracts or become charter schools despite state laws limiting their creation — and expressed concern that the politically charged proposals could delay the reauthorization, which is scheduled for this year.”


  2. Waldorf schools are nondenominational.
    We have had state funded Steiner schools in Australia for years now. They do not teach anthroposophy- which does not teach about “aliens”.
    What you would have are “Steiner influenced” schools- that take what they need from Steiner’s educational philosophy: the most successful independent educational philosophy in the world today.

    The end result is happy well balanced students- as research has shown.

    Let parents decide what is best for their children!


  3. Hi Bruce, your comment proves that Anthroposophy has its decidated defenders (I already knew, by the way).

    Technically, Waldorf schools may be nondenominational; but only if you accept Steiner’s “spiritual science” as science, not as religion, as many outsiders would do.

    Technically, they may also not teach Anthroposophy, as a separate subject; however, Anthroposophy is the basis of the whole curriculum.

    Anthroposophy, you write, “does not teach about “aliens””. Then, did you read Steiner on Atlantis, including about supposed inhabitants of planets Venus and Mars? How else can one call Martians or Venusians, other than “aliens”? By the way, how well do Steiner’s ideas of Atlantis and Lemuria do in the light of geological science?


  4. Hi Administrator,

    You mention and link to the site of WC in the US as a basis for some comments on Waldorf education. I have been discussing with the main representatives of the group for a number of years to understand their experiences and way of reasoning. Here I have summarised my experiences of the group, that stands out as a combined criticism-hate type of group if you look closer at it and what it publishes at its site. For a short summary of its argumentation as I have experienced it over a number of years of discussing with its representatives and looking at what it publishes at its site, see here. You also mention a Waldorf school in the Netherlands, where a racist teacher some 10 years ago made the pupils make a racist picture of white and black children. That was indefensible. Racists are found everywhere, regrettably also at times at Waldorf schools. (At present, there are about 900 world wide.) In the Dutch case, it much seems to have been rooted in Dutch colonialism. The situation led to the initiation by the Dutch Anthroposophical Society of a commission to go through and in full document all comments on “races” in the works of Steiner (appr. 90.000 pages) as it was understood 100 years ago. For a description of this, see here. For a description of Waldorf education from some perspectives, see Waldorf Answers. For more on the WC-group, see here

    Thanks, Thebee


  5. Quote #7: “You also mention a Waldorf school in the Netherlands, where a racist teacher some 10 years ago made the pupils make a racist picture of white and black children. That was indefensible. Racists are found everywhere, regrettably also at times at Waldorf schools”.

    If you would have known about the context, you would have known that was certainly not just one “racist teacher”. When parents complained, the “racial science education”, a subject at Waldorf schools for decades, since the 1920s, got the support of the school management and of Dutch Anthroposophical Society leaders.

    The history of the problem goes back to the writings of Rudolf Steiner themselves.


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