An information evening will take place in Galway this month in advance of the opening of the city’s first Steiner national school later this year.
Minister Jan O’Sullivan confirmed recently that the Department of Education and Skills will open a Steiner National School in Knocknacarra, under the patronage of Lifeways Ireland, in September.
The Galway Steiner School acting board of management has said it is looking forward to working with the Department to get the school up and running, and praised the efforts of parents in Galway who have been working to get a Steiner school in the city for several years.
Steiner schools are multi-denominational, democratic, and committed to cultural diversity and social equality. They are welcoming of children and families from all faiths and none, and all backgrounds and abilities. Operating in 78 countries and respected worldwide, Steiner schools nurture young people with a strong sense of self, who are highly socially integrated and have diverse capabilities.
A Steiner kindergarten opened in 2012 in Knocknacarra, and prior to this a Steiner play group operated from 2009 to 2012. Before that, Steiner mornings were hosted by parents in Westside Library from 2007 to 2009.
Currently there are two Steiner National schools in Ireland with Government recognition. The Galway school will be the first of its kind in that the Government has never before started a new Steiner national school. Historically, parents who wanted a Steiner method of schooling for their children have started private schools. Once established, these schools then sought State recognition.
Announcing the school, Minister Jan O’Sullivan said it was a clear signal of the high level of parental demand for more diversity in schools and pedagogy at the primary level.
“The criteria to be used in deciding on patronage of the new schools place a particular emphasis on parental demand for plurality and diversity of patronage,” the Minister said. “Parental preferences should be at the centre of considerations about the type of school to be recognised.”
A Steiner talk will take place in Westside Library on Wednesday March 25, where Steiner educator Pearse O’Sheil will discuss ‘Steiner National Schools – A Holistic Approach to the Developing Needs of the Young Child’. The talk will begin at 6.30pm and is open to the public (adults only ).