There are many pathways to becoming a teacher in the Waldorf education movement in the UK.
SWSF has been working with schools to improve the quality of teacher training for Waldorf teachers within the UK. In particular, we are actively supporting the development of partnerships with UK universities and other national accrediting bodies through which new teachers can gain nationally recognised qualifications alongside a specialism in Waldorf education. In July 2022, SWSF launched a new Accreditation Process which is designed to ensure that courses validated by external providers, meet the standards of modern Waldorf pedagogy. This sits alongside the work done by SWSF over the last three years to raise standards of teaching and learning in Steiner Waldorf schools. The first of these new university partnerships is between Bath Spa University and the Waldorf Learning Foundation to provide a Post-graduate Diploma in Waldorf Education and Creative Pedagogies. Additional new programmes are under development.
The SWSF Accreditation Application Pack which includes new criteria can be downloaded here.
Lower, Middle and Upper School: most Steiner Waldorf schools will expect that teachers have completed a Steiner Waldorf teacher training course or, in the case of a teacher with QTS/PGCE to be in the process of completing a specialist Waldorf teacher education course or willing to do so in their first year of teaching.
A new programme to provide ‘on the job’ training for graduates without QTS working in schools is due to be announced for start in January 2024. This new course will provide an opportunity to acquire a nationally recognised specialist qualification in Waldorf pedagogy and QTS.
Early Years: teachers in the kindergarten must have an accredited ‘full and relevant’ qualification recognised by the Department for Education (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/early-years-qualifications-finder) such as that provided by the kindergarten trainings listed below.
It is important for overseas students to check that completion of the course of their choice provides a qualification that is applicable in their home country.
Continuing professional development for teachers is offered within schools and by the SWSF.
Association of Steiner Waldorf Teacher Educators (ASWTE) is a group of teacher educators and course leaders who meet periodically to discuss issues of teacher education. ASWTE does not itself accredit courses or provide quality assurance. A representative of SWSF attends ASWTE meetings providing strategic support where possible.
PG Dip in Waldorf Education and Creative Pedagogies – Bath Spa University/Waldorf Learning Foundation.
Jointly delivered by Bath Spa University and the Waldorf Learning Foundation.
Validated by Bath Spa University and accredited by SWSF.
Some bursaries are available.
For more information: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-waldorf-education-and-creative-pedagogies/
Crossfields Institute Level 4 Diploma in Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Studies (Early Years Educator/EYE). VRQ: 603/7741/0 – and Level 5 Diploma in Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Studies – Leadership and Management. QRN: 603/7796/3.
This training leads to a Level 4 diploma in Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Studies which meets the Early Years Educator level 3 criteria. It is Ofqual regulated and awarded by Crossfields Institute. Crossfields Institute is responsible for approval, ongoing delivery, and centre quality assurance of this qualification. This qualification is delivered on a part time basis over two years.
The Level 4 qualification can be followed by a one-year Level 5 early years qualification suitable for leadership and management in a Steiner Waldorf setting and providing a stepping stone to higher level qualifications. The Level 5 is based around a full-time (or 2-year part-time) placement in a Steiner Waldorf kindergarten and taught sessions.
Both diplomas are recognised by IASWECE as international Steiner Waldorf early childhood qualifications.
Low interest loans are available to meet tuitions costs.
The course is delivered through two independent organisations:
NESWEC (North of England Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Studies Programme), at York Steiner School, with residentials in Stourbridge, W. Midlands. The course begins annually in October.
London Steiner Kindergarten Training Company, at Rudolf Steiner House, Regents Park, London, with residentials in Gloucestershire. The course begins annually towards the end of August.
Crossfields Institute Level 3 Diploma in Holistic Baby and Child Care (Early Years Educator) 603/7739/2
This training integrates Steiner early childhood studies and the Pikler approach whilst meeting Level 3 Early Years Educator criteria. With a unique birth to three emphasis it is an ideal qualification for those wishing to care for children as childminders, and parent and child group and parent support group leaders. In mainstream care settings the Holistic Baby and Child Care qualification is suitable for those wishing to care for children from birth to five. Successful completion of the course and all assignments will lead to the Crossfields Institute Level 3 Diploma in Holistic Baby and Child Care (Early Years Educator) (603/7739/2) qualification. The blended learning course, is part time over 14 months, is offered by Emerson College. The course days and weekends will take place partly online as well as held at Rudolf Steiner House, London, with residentials at Emerson College, East Sussex.
The training is recognised by IASWECE as an international Steiner Waldorf early childhood B-3 qualification.
Tel: +44 (0)1342 827771
Low interest loans with easy pay back schemes are available for students to help meet the costs of tuition. More details are available from the courses themselves.
Non-accredited teacher training course:
Michael Hall 'At the Heart of Teaching'
The Heart of Teaching is a school based educational course for adults at Michael Hall in East Sussex; this is a one or two years full time course, depending on previous experience. Students have daily hands-on experience in the classroom and teacher/tutors who are specialist in their subjects, which include Study, Theory and Practice, Art, Blackboard Drawing, Bothmer Gym, Handwork, Eurythmy, Maths, Science, Music, Singing, Recorders, Speech, Storytelling, Bushcraft and SEN.
Ruskin Mill Trust and University College Lillehammer:
Master in Special Education: Practical Skills Transformative Learning
Through practice enhanced research and research enhanced practice, this masters explores alternative approaches to special education pioneered by Ruskin Mill Trust. It seeks to explore the pedagogic potential of craft, ecology, biodynamic ecology and movement.
The programme provides a unique opportunity for teachers using practical skills to reflect upon, evaluate, research and develop their practice in relation to teaching people with special needs.
It is an innovative partnership between Ruskin Mill Trust and University College Lillehammer that crosses borders, disciplines and professions to create a transformative dialogue between research and practice.