From Nursery world: Catherine Gaunt, 28 January 2013, 12:00am
Steiner kindergartens have been successful in achieving exemptions from those aspects of the Early Learning Goals in the EYFS that do not fit with the Steiner educational philosophy and ethos. The ruling applies to all Steiner settings.
Beechtree Steiner Kindergartens in Leeds
A joint application for exemptions and modifications from certain aspects of the EYFS was made by the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship, the umbrella organisation that represents Steiner schools and early childhood settings in the UK.
The SWSF was asked by the settings to make the case for opting out of some of the ELGs and the entire literacy educational programme on the basis that aspects of the EYFS run counter to Steiner’s ‘established principles’, meaning that Steiner kindergartens cannot meet the EYFS requirements, without compromising their ethos and practice.
This week, letters have been sent out from the Department for Education to all Steiner settings that applied to confirm that the Secretary of State has approved their applications.
The ruling is not time limited and will apply for as long as the setting follows the established Steiner principles, and once applied does not run out until there is a change to statutory regulations.
Full exemption has been granted from the literacy ELGs – reading and writing – on the grounds that it is an established principle in the Steiner early years curriculum that young children are not taught to read and write before rising seven.
Full exemption has also been granted from the assessment requirements of the EYFS, so that Steiner settings will not have to complete the EYFS Profile and send the results to the local authority.
The case was also made for modifications to ELGs for communication and language, physical development, mathematics, understanding the world, and expressive arts and design, and these were also granted.
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