Sunday, August 3, 2014

Steiner Waldorf Schools Federation Public Relations Memo

Steiner Public Relations: Standing Together: 
In just a few years since its inception, the Steiner Waldorf PR Group has met in London at Steiner House and at our schools in Kings Langley, York and Forest Row. Initiated by Alan Swindell before he took the post of Principal at Exeter Steiner Academy, we are delighted that our next meeting later this year will be held there as we continue our work together.  
PR meetings have been a space to share best practice with colleagues and to brainstorm ways in which we can better work together to be a more effective voice in British education. We have shared advertising in targeted publications including The Green Parent and The Guardian as well as shared representation at school trade fairs. This has significantly reduced our marketing costs as we have received preferential rates on advertising space, but perhaps more importantly, has woven an invisible thread of connection and community between us.  
Our work has not just been limited to meetings. Working with email groups of up to fifty people, it has been necessary to outline clear and accountable processes with previously agreed timeframes to ensure that all the goodwill, ideas and expertise in our schools is channelled constructively into definitive actions and outcomes. Perhaps similar to how mandates work for those of us familiar with them. As a result, the PR Group has gone from strength to strength. The willingness of colleagues to engage whole-heartedly with the process and to work with sincerity has made the experience of working together both inspiring and a pleasure to be a part of. 
Our latest campaign “Ripple Day” is another initiative that has arisen from our group. Research from the schools reflects clearly that word of mouth referrals are our greatest source of new leads for prospective parents and pupils. To this end, we have circulated “Ripple Day” leaflets to parents in nineteen of the schools who have wholeheartedly stepped on board. This campaign also goes live on Ripple Day - Friday 18th October, where posts will be shared across our various social media networks, including facebook and twitter. The aim is clear - to raise awareness of Steiner Waldorf Education in the UK.  
The call to action is to invite parents, colleagues and friends to like our “Imagine a School Where,” facebook page. This is an independently created community space sharing inspirational messages as well as highlighting the benefits of a Steiner Waldorf education. It is also a space to celebrate and support children to just be children! Please do “like” the page and help us spread the word.
If you have any brilliant ideas to help get our message out there, we would love to hear from you. Please email
Priya Mahtani  
The SWSF are pleased that Priya has taken on our facebook page and look forward to working with her. We are concerned that since Alan left we have not been able to replace him due to financial restrictions. We see a need for training for those in schools working in this area, also seed money to support the work being done by the PR Group and welcome donations to enable this to happen. 


  1. There seem to be "pockets" that seem to spill out the biggest crazies. Here in the USA, we have Highland Hall, which is also the Waldorf Institute of Southern California (Waldorf teacher training center). They are heavily associated with AWSNA (which supplies their representatives at WISC. I just noticed Deborah Kahn, one of Sune's partners in AWE, is from Highland Hall. They're also responsible for Joan Jaeckel and Patrice Maynard of AWSNA. There are strong connections between Highland Hall and Brooklyn Waldorf school through the Brousseau family and, of course, and connections to Green Meadow Waldorf School through Eugene Schwartz and others.

  2. Yes, I'm sure that's true. In the case of South Devon it was the closest Steiner school to the now abandoned Steiner BA at the University of Plymouth. I guess Canterbury is now more relevant, since that's where the latest 'academic' Steiner Waldorf initiative is based.


You may ask, "where are all the 5=Star reviews?" Well, the problem with those reviews is that many tend not to be too honest. I have included 4-star reviews that appear honest. Often, gushing reviews are placed by teachers and administrators - as some comments here indicate. "This school educates the whole child!!!" - 5 stars - by Anonymous... I say baloney! Notice, many of the reviewers have been misled by Waldorf and are still buying the PR, even after having been disappointed. Feel free to comment but understand the intent of this blog. Comments are no longer moderated.