The European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education

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Published on June 30th, 2016 | by ECSWE

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Report: Council Meeting 6 – 8 May 2016 in Ringwood, UK

The meeting was held at the Ringwood Waldorf School in the beautiful surroundings of New Forest and the river Avon, South England. We were welcomed on Friday afternoon in the hall. In the afternoon, Georg Jürgens presented the latest developments of ECSWE’s Advocacy. The main achievement of the past few months was ECSWE’s successful application for the ET 2020 Working Group schools as one of only three stakeholders representing Civil society.

In the evening the Annual General Assembly was held. This was well prepared and everything went smoothly. A new board was chosen. The new members are Frederikke Larsson (Denmark), Margareta van Raemdonck (Belgium) and Frans Ebskamp (Netherlands). Iztok Kordis (Slovenia) and Richard Landl (Germany) are staying, while Cathrine Nordlie (Norway), Karen Chapman (Italy) and Rosemarie Bluder (Austria) leave the board.

On Saturday morning we started by singing. It is amazing that after only 15 minutes of practise, the song, already sounds so wonderful. After the singing one of the teachers of the Ringwood School told us her story, starting from being a teacher at a public school to becoming a parent at a Waldorf school and then being a teacher at the Ringwood Waldorf school. Afterwards, Elain Holt, the director of the school provided additional information about the school and Kevin Avison gave a presentation about the Steiner Waldorf School Fellowship (SWSF), the association for all the 33 Steiner schools and independent Steiner early years locations in the UK and Ireland.

The afternoon was reserved for a workshop with teachers of the the 3 UK schools offering the Steiner School Certificate (SSC), West London, South Devon and Norwich, as well as teachers from the Ringwood Waldorf School that decided to step out of SSC after a trial period. The purpose of this meeting was learning more about practical experience with the SSC. Martin Rawson, who is part of the ECSWE Diploma Project Group shared a lot of useful information on the project and we got a good insight on the SSC’s content. The teachers reported about their work with the SSC and the obstacles they met on their way. Karen Brice-Geard from the New Zealand Steiner School Development Trust (SEDT) was there to listen to the teachers working with it. For further information on the SSC, please visit  ecswe.net/projects/dp.

After all these meetings we were driven in mini busses to the beach in Bornemouth, where we had a very typical English meal: fish and chips. To close the day, barn dances with live music were organised by the Ringwood Waldorf School.

On Sunday morning, we started with eurythmy to warm up. The main theme of the morning was Stefan Grosse’s presentation of the Waldorf100 worldwide festival and campaign to celebrate the centenary of the Waldorf movement in September 2019. Further time was dedicated to a review of the 3 year mandate of the leaving board. The three leaving board members Rosmarie Bluder, Karen Chapman and Cathrine Nordlie were thanked for their work. They played a crucial role in handling ECSWE’s successful transition. The Council also said farewell to Walter Hiller, who not only represent the Software AG Stiftung in ECSWE, but was also an ECSWE representative in the early years. The meeting was closed with the handover of the banner to Mati Valgepea, who is going to host the next Council meeting in Estonia,  14th-16th October 2016.


Loes van Alphen
Steinerskoleforbundet
Norway


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