Rudolf Steiner gave two main indications for the running of a school. In the first he said that teachers and those running the school should try to make decisions together rather than one person, such as a headmistress or master being in charge. The second indication Steiner gave is that the teachers should be involved in the running of the school, to help them remain connected with real world practicalities and to keep their teaching relevant to the age in which they lived and taught, but also to ensure that child pedagogy was held central in the decision-making process.
That was nearly 100 years ago and in Steiner Schools today, those involved in running them still strive to incorporate these basic principles into a modern framework of legislation and regulation. As Norwich Steiner School has grown and evolved from it’s first days as a school, so too has its structure.
The school has a small body of trustees who are responsible for matters of School Governance and who maintain an objective overview of the whole. In January 2012, in response to advice from the Schools Inspection Service, the trustees appointed a management team to ensure clear lines of communication, accountability and responsibility were developed and maintained.
The management team comprises teaching and administration staff, and its Terms of Reference is included within the Constitution.
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In addition to the many meetings that happen between smaller groups of teachers whenever required, there are a number of regular weekly meetings that have important roles in the development and running of the school. One of these is the Faculty meeting, which is for all school staff, both teaching and non teaching, throughout the school and which includes artistic activity, child and class studies, teaching discussions, organisation of festivals and regular updates on safeguarding, health & safety and Special Educational Needs (SEND).
In addition, each part of the school - Kindergarten, Lower School and Upper school, holds meetings specific to the age groups they cover and these are the meetings within which more detailed child studies are also carried out.
All these weekly meetings amongst staff ensure that the impulse of anthroposophy, on which the Waldorf curriculum is founded, remains a living, guiding and increasingly nourishing principle in the school.