There are over 1,200 schools and nearly 1900 kindergartens across 70 countries with new initiatives being created all the time. Waldorf is one of the fastest growing independent school movements in the world.
Schools are usually started by groups of teachers and parents looking for a different approach to education.
Many grow to be funded by governments although large numbers remain funded by parents or voluntary donations and the good will of all concerned. The collective nature of what is essentially a grass roots movement helps create the strong communities for which Steiner Waldorf schools are renowned.
The Waldorf approach can adapt to all cultures and a range of spiritual and religious traditions. Schools now exist across a wide range of continents and individual countries, including USA, Canada, China, Taiwan, Korea, Middle East, India, Eastern Europe, Africa, Russia, Australia and New Zealand.
Freunde der Erziehungskunst (Friends of Waldorf) in Berlin and the Pedagogical Section, Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland provide support for the development of schools worldwide but there is no international structure providing formal oversight. Trademarks are granted to country associations whose schools are able to fulfil certain criteria for membership before being able to use the names Rudolf Steiner and Waldorf in relation to education.