A different class: the UK expansion of Steiner schools

Jeevan Vasgar:

The number of Steiner schools is set to expand, thanks to state funding via the coalition’s ‘free schools’ policy. Their alternative approach is appealing, but do they offer a rounded education?
The school run resembles the exodus from a festival. There are vans with hippyish bumper stickers – Homeopathy Heals, says one – bouncing down a track to the sprawling car park, where women in ponchos hug their babies and chat.
Inside the Steiner Academy Hereford, which occupies a renovated Victorian school and converted farm buildings in the village of Much Dewchurch, it’s a picture of pastoral charm. There’s a babbling water feature in a courtyard lined with potted shrubs, and a pleasingly old-fashioned wooden staircase leading up to classrooms.
The kindergarten is just that – a triangular garden fringed with pine, apple and cherry trees laden with blossom where children in woolly hats sit on the ground making mud pies.