A History of UK Schools

A Grassroots Movement.

The first school in the UK, New School, (later to become Michael Hall) was established in London in 1925 by teachers who were inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s lectures in the UK. Over the following 90 years, groups of parents and teachers set up 32 more of varying sizes up and down the country. The Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship (now Waldorf UK) was established in 1953.

In 2008 the first state funded Steiner academy was established in Herefordshire followed by three more academies between 2014 and 2016 in Exeter, Frome and Bristol. However in 2018/19 a series of Ofsted inspections judged that a significant number of our schools were not meeting the minimum standards required by the DfE. This led to three of the four academies being rebrokered to another provider and four independent schools closed. This caused the school movement to self-reflect and since that time there has been considerable change and improvement which continues today. This has included the introduction of transparent and accountable school leadership in many schools, new curriculum and assessment frameworks, a phonics training programme for teachers, a digital planning tool to support curriculum planning, a bespoke maths teacher training partnership with Math for Love (USA) and training in trauma informed practice plus numerous CPD sessions and webinars. Ofsted inspections since June 2021 have shown schools making considerable improvement.