Quality assurance in European Steiner schools

Zurich, 17 September (NNA) – The subject of quality assurance procedures was on the agenda of a meeting last Saturday (15 September) of the European Council of Waldorf Schools in Zurich.

According to the media office for anthroposophical initiatives in Switzerland, Medienstelle Anthroposophie Schweiz, Hans Boekhout from the Dutch advisory group for free schools explained the process.

A quality assurance procedure led a school from segmentation, in which each teacher felt responsible only for the teaching in his or her own class, to the cooperative school in which the teaching staff felt responsible as a team for teaching in the whole of the school, for the operation of the school and for the culture of the school, working together with those objective in mind.

In a further step this led to the learning school in which the teaching staff as a team undertook organisation development. 

Inge Haagsma from the Groningen Waldorf School in Holland described how self-evaluation through intervision groups in her school had helped to solve problems. There had also been a huge increase in awareness of and commitment towards the school as a whole.

Self and third party evaluation in Lucerne

This meeting was followed by the conference of the Working Group (ARGE) of Rudolf Steiner Schools (RSS) in Switzerland, Medienstelle Anthroposophie Schweiz reports. Gabriel Sturny from the RSS Lucerne explained how the school had applied for outside evaluation through the new office for school evaluation of the Swiss Canton of Lucerne in parallel to the school’s own evaluation through the „Paths to Quality“ procedure.

As an aid, the school had compiled a comprehensive handbook containing all the documentation relating to the procedure.

In a separate move, the Zurich lawyer Karl Stroppel presented a structural model for the reorganisation of ARGE to promote the commitment and deeper cooperation among the 36 Swiss Steiner schools which belong to the organisation; ARGE has been in existence since 1977 and set up a coordination office in Zurich in 1996.

The proposed measures include the creation of a financial advisory group to advise ARGE and individual schools.

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