School bid to go free

PARENTS of puils at Shipley’s Michael House Steiner Waldorf School are being encouraged to back the school’s campaign to become a free school.

Trustees for the school are currently in the process of applying to the Secretary of State for education for state funding.

Andy Pedley, business and operations manager at the school, said: “This is a really positive move for the school and something we’re very excited about.

“If we are successful it will realise the dreams of the school’s founder and will open up the school to local children who perhaps couldn’t afford to attend the school with the current fee system.”

A formal fee-paying system was introduced at the school in 1977 after a number of years where parents and supporters made donations towards the running costs of the school.

Prior to this a trust fund left by Edith Lewis, the school’s founder, was used to finance the school.

Trustees and some teachers are currently putting the finishing touches to the school’s bid to become state-funded which will be submitted ‘imminently.’

The bid has to prove that there is local support and demand for the school to become free and open to all children.

Mr Pedley added: “If we are successful what we will be able to provide is an alternative education to local children.

“It’s not that we offer a better or worse way of learning than other schools in the area, it’s just different.

“When Michael House was founded it was so that all children had access to a Steiner Waldorf education.

“If we are successful that will become a reality.

“We want to expand and attract new children and be considered as an option for all children locally.”

Jeremy Roberts, chair of trustees for the school, said: “The opportunity to become a non-fee paying ‘free school’ is very exciting for the many people who believe that their children will benefit from the wonderful education offered at Michael House Steiner Waldorf School.”