The Galway Steiner National School in Knocknacarra will come under the patronage of the GRETB as a Community School from this year on.
The school will continue to deliver the national curriculum using Steiner methodologies, while the ethos will be that of a Community School.
Community National Schools are co-educational, multidenominational schools underpinned by the core values of excellence in education, care, respect, equality and community.
In developing this ethos the school staff will work closely with the GRETB in the coming days.
The decision to transfer patronage of the Knocknacarra school was made after a review by the Board of Lifeways Ireland on its future role.
The Board of Management of the school, as well as the parents and staff, supported the decision following a consultation process that involved the school community.
Welcoming the announcement, David Leahy, Chief Executive of the GRETB said that this was a “historic day”.
“GRETB very much looks forward to working closely with the management of the school and with Lifeways Ireland to support the school in its transition to a Community National School and in the delivery of quality education using Steiner methodologies for which they have become justly renowned.”
Under the new patronage arrangement, the Steiner pedagogy in the school will be maintained, with Lifeways Ireland continuing to provide advice on it.
The Steiner method promotes creative and active learning with a strong emphasis on movement, music, art, handwork, drama, and outdoor learning.
Pearse O’Shiel, Chairperson of Lifeways Ireland, said “In the current climate it is not possible for a voluntary body such as Lifeways to provide the broad range of necessary supports to the growing number of schools that wish to teach using Steiner methodology.”
He added that under the patronage of the GRETB the school will be provided with all the supports it needs to develop and progress.
“The ethos of the Community National School model is very similar to the current ethos of the Steiner schools and we feel that the school will transition easily to the CNS model,” Pearse O’Shiel added.
“Lifeways Ireland looks forward to working with GRETB in advising and supporting the school in the further development of their Steiner pedagogy.”