In Switzerland, future Steiner school teachers can take a training in specific centres at Dornach, Berne and Lausanne. They work in close collaboration thanks to shared seminars that allow discussion of pedagogical concepts and questions concerning accreditation. They have enjoyed a long and fruitful tradition, with those responsible always informed by the anthroposophical image of the human being, meaning that education begins with understanding the child. Concrete research keeps the education up to date.
News – May 2009
How Steiner education has been able to have a future
The Foundation for Furthering Rudolf Steiner Education in Switzerland celebrates its 20th anniversary, an occasion to review its tireless activity.
During the 20 years of its existence, the Foundation for Furthering Rudolf Steiner Education in Switzerland has contributed in a decisive way to relieving the debt problems of Steiner schools.
Successful, but hard going.
The contributions of parents are the only source of finance for the 31 Steiner schools in Switzerland, which means they have very limited financial means. Their buildings have always therefore been one of their principal financial considerations; with the payment of loans and interest often a source of great preoccupation. Many schools could hardly amortise their debts.
The Schaffhausen model
To help schools confronted with such problems, the founder of the foundation came up with a clever idea and a generous deed: he gave to the foundation, created in 1989, a sum of capital that was then lent to the schools in the form of interest free loans. As a result, the schools could afford to make regular monthly debt repayments, at an annual rate varying between 4% and 6%.
Thanks to this method of long-term debt relief, called ‘the Schaffhausen model’, the Steiner schools have been able to pay down debt in the past 20 years.
Actively supporting the school movement
The foundation has also financially helped the schools to organise various public acts. It has participated in establishing teachers’ pensions, encouraged their on-going training in different ways and promoted quality standards. From a financial point of view, it helps schools collaborate. Finally, the schools furnish the foundation with annual statistics that help it in its overall planning.
The foundation is at the heart of the development of Steiner education and of the schools in particular, from the welcoming of infants to the end of secondary education. Its main aim is to serve in a disinterested manner through its financing ideas.
Ursula Piffaretti, President of the Board of the Foundation