MADAM – Wynstones School, founded in 1937, has been a successful local Steiner Waldorf school for 75 years. We are not part of the Free School initiative so we’re neither supporting nor opposing it. As part of the opposition to the initiative though, I have read some views that don’t bear any resemblance to what actually goes on at a Steiner school. Rather disappointingly in all the debate I see little evaluation, nor much understanding, of educational outcomes.

It is of course extremely difficult to measure educational outcomes if you believe, as we do, that they are more than simply public examination results. Our school’s aim is that each child’s innate curiosity and love of learning is engaged and nourished and that they develop the confidence to meet the future and play a part in shaping it.

Our curriculum is broad all the way to A-level. Even if pupils study A-level maths, physics and chemistry they still do, for example, history of art, craft and music. Children go into Class 1 at 6 to 7 years old and they learn to read and write only after that point. Exam curriculum commences at GCSE level.

Despite this, and all the usual criticisms about starting the three R’s ‘late’, academic results are pretty impressive. Comparative school league tables for 2014 show that Wynstones School came 3rd in the county of Gloucestershire for A level results. At GCSE level students achieved 83% grades A* to C, well above the national average.

When we hear so much about education not meeting the needs of children today, I’m saddened that there is so much prejudice, uninformed in my view, against some of the benefits of Steiner education. Our pupils go on to study at many UK and international universities, and fill an array of occupations; doctors, engineers, professors and many more.

Dick Baker

Trustees chairman, Wynstones