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Canterbury Steiner School secures its future after threat of closure

PUBLISHED: 15:35 06 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:35 06 June 2017

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It is now offering bursaries to new pupils start in September

A Canterbury school which has long faced the threat of closure has secured its future and made the bold step of offering bursaries to new pupils starting in September aiming to make it the most affordable and popular private education in Kent.

Expected to gain significant local interest and also from London, where private costs are spiralling, this is just the first step in an ambitious growth plan at Canterbury Steiners School, which will also see the addition of a new upper school with an international focus in the years to come.

Founded in 1976, and located in the picturesque Stour valley close to Chartham, the school was attended by the likes of BBC star Tom Burke of The Musketeers and offers an independent education for early years pupils (up to six) at its kindergarten and lower school (6-14).

Beth Cuenco, a former pupil and founder of Canterbury’s successful Wise Words poetry festival, said: “I am thrilled the school’s future has been secured.

“I had an incredible time at Canterbury Steiner School. It’s a beautiful school and the teaching and ethos has had a positive impact in my life.

“My son now attends the school and I would recommend any parent to explore the benefits of a Steiner education.”

The school offers a Steiner Waldorf-centred education where the ethos is to inspire imagination, involvement and discovery in the child.

The curriculum arises out of a deep understanding of a child’s natural development, embracing a ‘heart, hands and head’ approach to encourage a lifelong love of learning and an enduring curiosity about the world and preparing pupils for a far more connected and faster moving world.

In a time where computers and technology now dominate, bosses say the Steiner movement is growing in popularity worldwide, from Scandinavia to Silicon Valley.

Top executives of tech giants such as Google, Apple and Yahoo are increasingly opting to send their children to Steiner Waldorf Schools, prizing the creative, imaginative and curious abilities the education brings.

Acting school leader, Tessa Carias, said: “In a time where costs are rising and pressures on schools are growing we are delighted to be in a position to support parents looking for an independent education for their children.

“There can be many myths and misconceptions about a Steiner education but I would implore parents to come and visit our beautiful school and see for themselves what it could contribute to their child’s future.”

Chair of trustees, Judith Hawarden, added: “We are delighted to have safeguarded the future of the school.

“There has been a lot of hard work behind the scenes and the new long-term funding will provide stability and improvement throughout the school and help establish a more international outlook.

“We are seeing globally that parents are turning to a Steiner-based education as an answer to producing pupils who are engaged, confident, creative and resilient.”

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