More freedom in education

Our main goal?
More freedom in education

more freedom in education
rudolf steiner school of basel
more freedom in education
Steiner Waldorf education is best delivered in flexible education systems that promote freedom and educational choice.

Our work

Fol­low­ing our rec­om­men­da­tions, the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment adopt­ed amend­ments to its 2018 report, “Mod­erni­sa­tion of edu­ca­tion in the EU. These amend­ments pro­mote par­ents being able to choose their children’s school, free­dom to estab­lish inde­pen­dent schools, and pub­lic fund­ing for inde­pen­dent non-prof­it schools.

We were also involved in the draft­ing of the report, “Euro­pean ideas for bet­ter learn­ing”, pro­duced by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion ET 2020 Work­ing Group Schools in April 2018. Our inter­ven­tion ensured that the needs of the inde­pen­dent school sec­tor are bet­ter reflect­ed in the report (see p3-4 of the report for more details).

more freedom in education
more freedom in education

Vision

Our vision is for Stein­er Wal­dorf edu­ca­tion to thrive in Europe.

This means flex­i­ble rules gov­ern­ing edu­ca­tion sys­tems, which allow dif­fer­ent teach­ing approach­es and types of school to peace­ful­ly coex­ist.

Gov­ern­ments should lim­it them­selves to ensur­ing edu­ca­tion­al qual­i­ty and defin­ing a gen­er­al frame­work of learn­ing out­comes. Schools should be able to enjoy full auton­o­my and free­dom in how they meet these stan­dards.

Freedom for parents to choose a school

Accord­ing to Arti­cle 14 of the EU Char­ter of Fun­da­men­tal Rights, the right to edu­ca­tion includes the right of par­ents to ensure their children’s edu­ca­tion is in accor­dance with their reli­gious, philo­soph­i­cal, and ped­a­gog­i­cal beliefs. We encour­age nation­al and region­al gov­ern­ments to ensure par­ents from all finan­cial back­grounds can ful­ly exer­cise this right.

We there­fore wel­come the explic­it ref­er­ences to this right in Arti­cle 14 in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment report, “Mod­erni­sa­tion of edu­ca­tion in the EU (2018, para­graph J).

Freedom for schools to define their own curricula

All schools in Europe should have the right to define their own cur­ric­u­la.
Over­ly detailed nation­al cur­ric­u­la reduce the poten­tial for schools and teach­ers to inno­vate. These should be replaced by gen­er­al objec­tives and learn­ing out­comes guid­ing school-based cur­ric­u­la design.

In the “Mod­erni­sa­tion of edu­ca­tion in the EU report, the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment high­lights the ben­e­fits of school auton­o­my, affirm­ing that “grant­i­ng schools more auton­o­my regard­ing cur­ric­u­la, assess­ment and finance has been shown to result in increased pupil per­for­mance” (sec­tion 42, page 11, 2008).

Freedom requires public funding for independent schools

To increase inclu­sive­ness and ensure free­dom of edu­ca­tion­al choice, there should be full pub­lic fund­ing for inde­pen­dent edu­ca­tion across all Euro­pean coun­tries. We par­tic­u­lar­ly encour­age nation­al and region­al gov­ern­ments to imple­ment sec­tion 76 of the report, which “encour­ages… the pro­vi­sion of ade­quate finan­cial sup­port for schools of all cat­e­gories and lev­els, both state schools and not-for-prof­it pri­vate schools” (sec­tion 76, page 14, 2018).

Further reading

eu Char­ter of Fun­da­men­tal Rights: Right to edu­ca­tion (Arti­cle 14.3)
Euro­pean Com­mis­sion et 2020 Work­ing Group Schools web­site
et 2020 Work­ing Group Schools report “Euro­pean ideas for bet­ter learn­ing“ (2018)
Euro­pean Par­lia­ment report “Mod­erni­sa­tion of edu­ca­tion in the eu“ (2018)
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richard landl
margareta van raemdonck
iztok kordis
frederikke larsson
georg juergens
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