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Frome - Steiner School

(15 Posts)
Marzipanface Mon 26-Oct-15 11:28:23

Can anyone give me any experiences or info on this new Steiner school please? We live quite close and have a child who will be ready for school within the next few years.

Marzipanface Mon 26-Oct-15 15:00:14

I have read previous threads on Steiner education but was interested in local reviews as I understand that not all schools are the same.

lecanardnoir123 Mon 26-Oct-15 16:07:01

It would be interesting to see what Frome people think of the School. However, it is worth pointing out that because it is a Steiner School, it will be using an Anthroposophical approach to teaching and include all the elements of Anthroposophical belief in teaching. It it well worth understanding what this means before going further.

Marzipanface Mon 26-Oct-15 17:37:02

Yes I know. I was also curious as to how this will affect school applications as it is funded by public money. If you can't secure a place at your chosen school due to lack of places, will the Steiner be offered or allocated to you instead? This is a serious question as it is a big school and is state funded.

lecanardnoir123 Mon 26-Oct-15 17:52:09

Indeed that is a most serious question. Given that many have been deeply troubled by Steiner's views on the superiority of the Aryan race, on the esoteric, occult and initiated form of Anthroposophical belief, there is the horrifying prospect that parents who vigouroulsy object to exposing children to such environments may be forced to send their children there. The mond boggles.

lecanardnoir123 Mon 26-Oct-15 17:52:50

Or indeed even the mind boggles. confused

Marzipanface Mon 26-Oct-15 21:11:58

Nobody else? Total silence on the subject? I was hoping someone would come along and tell me that the new school isn't orthodox Steiner. After all if it is now a state school then I thought perhaps it may be less Steiner-ish.

lecanardnoir123 Tue 27-Oct-15 13:30:35

It would indeed be interesting to see how this school has evolved and a shame no one is around to discuss. The Free School in Frome originally took its forst intake from the Steiner School in Bruton - which then prompty shut down. As such, it was a continuation of a private Steiner School, but now publicly funded. A sort of nationalisation if you like. As such, one might expect that to start off with at least, the school continued with a straightforward 'orthodox' Waldorf curriculum and ethos.

Has it now changed under state largesse? Have a new intake of children and parents changed its direction? I do doubt it but it would good to know specific questions:
1) What aspects of the Steiner curriculum and philosophy have been dropped and why?
2) What non-Steiner approaches to education have been adopted and why?

Having said this, I have yet to see a Steiner School that has maninatined the Steiner name and evolved away from a strict Waldorf approach. We shall see.

nlondondad Wed 28-Oct-15 15:00:56

I would not describe it as "nationalisation"

A Free School is a state funded school run by a Trust set up to run it. The Trust is a private body, and as such its characteristics depend on who set it up, and how successor Trustees are chosen. They are free to employ unqualified teachers if they wish, and are free not to teach the national Curriculum.

From the Steiner point of view the great merit of a Free School is they get the freedoms of a private school, but the funding of a state school.

One freedom they do loose is over admissions. They are their own admissions authority but their admissions rules have to conform to the national admissions code.

This means that they could be required to take pupils who are not sympathetic to the Steiner ethos, and this would happen in the event of there not being places at other schools as the Steiner places count as part of the local schools place supply.

Marzipanface Thu 29-Oct-15 12:45:03

This means that they could be required to take pupils who are not sympathetic to the Steiner ethos, and this would happen in the event of there not being places at other schools as the Steiner places count as part of the local schools place supply.

I don't know how often this situation would occur but isn't this a bit concerning?

opioneers Sat 31-Oct-15 10:29:32


opioneers Sat 31-Oct-15 10:35:42

Right, name change in place. I'm not a parent at the school but know plenty who are and are happy with it. Personally I wouldn't touch it with a forty foot stick, because of the philosophical underpinnings of the system, their attitude to bullying and the way that some of the children behave in public spaces.

To answer a couple of specific things on this thread. While it may not be true of free schools in general, this was very much a nationalisation of the Bruton School and they played some tricks with the initial admissions policy to make sure that every child from the Bruton school - some of whom live 15 miles from Frome - got in.

However, while it is theoretically possible, there isn't much danger of non-Steiner people being forced to take a place there. It is over subscribed, and people are moving from miles away to attend the school as it is one of only two state Steiner schools in the country. There's a lot more tie dye around the place than there used to be.

Anecdotally, it is causing problems for other schools in town, and not just because of siphoning off the funding. When students want to transfer to another school, they can be 1-2 years behind the NC and this is a significant drain on resources for a school.

Marzipanface Sun 01-Nov-15 02:12:23

Ok. Thank you for the information!
I know quite a few people who have moved here solely for the school.

nlondondad Sun 01-Nov-15 20:30:24

My comment about "nationalisation" was a bit of a throw away remark which I should have explained.

When a private school is converted into a Free School, - there have been a number of these - what happens is that the private school on being converted now has to have an admissions system that abides by the admissions code ( subject to "transistional arrangements") and is no longer allowed to charge fees. It will be the transistional arrangemenets that allowed pupils to transfer over from the Bruton School.

In return it gets funded at the going state rate. And thats it. They get the money but with very few strings attached. Thats why they are called "Free Schools" Also the Frome School's new premises are paid for by the taxpayer also. But the School Trust own the building and site on which it has been built. The state pays for the site and the building and then hands it over.

So while nationalisation is where a private property, such as a Company is taken over and becomes owned by the State -which is what happened to some banks after the crash - so moves from private to public ownership - in the case of a Free School public resources are transferred to private hands.

Obviously if the demand from Steiner adherents is large enough, and local enough, for the school to fill, then no non Steiner people will be allocated to it, in practice.

DoulaKaz Tue 24-Nov-15 11:16:10

Hi Hi.
I am sorry to be so late to join the conversation.

I have two children at the school and I/we are having a very positive experience. Please feel free to email me on as i'm not on here very often,


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