Understanding Waldorf – How Is A Steiner School Governed?
Waldorf education is also known as Steiner education, named after Dr Rudolph Steiner, upon whose educational philosophies all Waldorf schools are based. Steiner divided child development into three distinct stages – early childhood, elementary and secondary. Each stage has different emphases and focuses, but all take into account the whole child – academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
The overarching goal of this type of education is to develop highly socially competent individuals who are morally responsible and fully integrated.
Although the Roseway Waldorf School is a member of the Federation of Waldorf Schools in South Africa and is run according to the educational principles outlined by Dr Steiner, we are an independent school, and our teachers have a great deal of autonomy in determining curriculum content, teaching methodology, and governance.
The Organisational Structure Of Roseway Waldorf
Roseway Waldorf has a multi-layered organisational structure which involves everyone from our teachers and other staff to parents and learners. This provides a varied number of forums through which matters can be managed and issues addressed.
The Roseway Waldorf School Association is the legal body of the school. Members are drawn from staff, parents and friends of Roseway, who then have the right to vote at the Annual General Meeting. The Association is managed by a Board of Directors, who are also responsible for all legal and financial matters pertaining to the school.
The administration of the school is the responsibility of the College of Teachers. Their duties include staffing, educational and general policies, the organisation of school activities, and standard procedures. The College of Teachers is overseen by an elected Chairperson, but all decisions are reached by consensus.
The Body of Teachers is made up of all the class teachers – full time and part time, as well as our specialist teachers. This group meets once a week as a whole body as well as individual faculties to discuss any relevant matters pertaining to school activities.
The Mandate System comprises several core groups, each with a specific focus area. One of these is the Management Mandate, which works closely with the College of Teachers, and the Board of Directors. It acts as a filter, making sure the every-day issues and concerns of parents are addressed by the relevant body.
The executive committee of the Parents’ Association coordinates and directs the efforts of parents in their support of the school’s various projects and initiatives. The Parents’ Association is also in charge of our fundraising efforts, and they meet once a month during term time to plan and review.
Finally, we have Class Representatives, who help with organising class lunches, liaise with class teachers regarding lifts for outings and camps, organise duties at markets and work closely with the Parents’ Association.
We’d welcome the opportunity to explain our system to you more fully, and to show you how it works in the day to day running of our school. Please get in touch if you’d like to see more.