In Action

Working for Good Schools

By Angelika Lonnemann, April 2023

The German Association of Waldorf Schools (BdFWS) is the publisher of Erziehungskunst. The member institutions currently comprise 253 schools with around 90,000 pupils and 37 training centres. They are autonomous but bound by the statutes and resolutions of the BdFWS as well as the licence agreements concluded with it concerning the Waldorf and Rudolf Steiner trademarks. As an umbrella organisation, the BdFWS takes on a number of tasks for the schools and for Waldorf education.

The BdFWS offers various services for schools: legal advice, public relations, political networking and marketing, violence prevention counselling and an arbitration panel. It collects educational data from the schools every year to get an overview of their staffing situation, for example. The BdFWS has its office in Stuttgart, where 18 people work.

The public relations department is located in the Berlin-Mitte branch. The BdFWS takes care of the training and further training of Waldorf teachers (waldorfschule.de/lehrerin-sein/fortbildungen) and provides funding for the colleges and seminars. It supports the founding of schools and ensures that only those schools that adhere to certain requirements bear the name Waldorf School. Separately from the schools, it also protects the Waldorf and Rudolf Steiner trademarks. The BdFWS also offers many further training courses, conferences, working groups and other opportunities for meeting. On its website waldorfschule.de can be found interesting facts about Waldorf education with the possibility to download flyers and printed materials. Useful materials and articles are offered in the (waldorfschule-shop.de) shop.

The BdFWS regularly sends out circulars to all schools in which information about nationwide events, further training, book tips and news are passed on. The circulars can then be forwarded within the school to the relevant teachers, board members or parents. The German Association of Waldorf Schools is a registered association and twice a year members' meetings are held to discuss, deliberate and decide on the future of Waldorf education. This members' meeting is the highest organ under law of the BdFWS. All personal and corporate members work together in it. As a rule, the chief executive, a teacher or a member of the school board represents the respective school. The members' meeting deliberates on the promotion and development of Rudolf Steiner education as well as on the resulting tasks and objectives in the economic, legal and educational policy fields. The executive board conducts the business of the BdFWS. It consists of up to seven members and is the decision-making and responsible body of the BdFWS. Currently, the board consists of Nele Auschra, Wilfried Bialik, Friederike Gläsener, Stefan Grosse, Hans-Georg Hutzel and Eva Wörner. The managing directors of the BdFWS are appointed by the board and are responsible to it.

The financing of the staff and the projects of the BdFWS, the seminars and colleges is made possible by the contributions paid annually per pupil by the schools to the BdFWS. At the members' meeting in March the necessary contributions are decided and in November their proper use is documented with the presentation of the annual accounts.

The legally dependent Waldorf Foundation is also affiliated to the BdFWS. Through donations, the Foundation has a sum of more than six million euros at its disposal with which it can finance projects within Waldorf education. The BdFWS is also a joint shareholder in the two publishing houses Freies Geistesleben and Urachhaus.

Teachers, pupils and parents can contribute to the content of the delegate meetings held in January and November. Each school and teacher training institution sends one or two delegates. The delegate meeting deals with the overall development of the school movement. The focus is on questions of Rudolf Steiner's understanding of the human being and the contemporary history, school concepts and curriculum development of Waldorf schools.

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