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Teacher training course helped by SCQF recognition

attentive young children in a classroom

Steiner Waldorf Schools across the world will expect that teachers have completed a specialist teacher education course like the one offered by Edinburgh Steiner Teacher Education Course (ESTEC). However, an increasing number of countries demand that teachers in independent schools are registered with the country’s teaching council as well. Since 2017, Scotland is one of those countries.

The SCQF framework provides a way of showing how qualifications relate to each other in Scotland and around the world. Gaining SCQF recognition for their in-house teacher training programme was especially important for ESTEC as it builds on its longstanding reputation for training teachers who now work throughout the world, as well as here in Scotland.

Globally the Steiner Waldorf Movement is the largest and fastest growing independent school system, now with over 1,100 schools in 70 countries and 2,000 early years settings. This international aspect has always been a feature of Edinburgh Steiner School, with many teachers and pupils from overseas.

“Our training course presently has students from 11 countries and over 90% of our students are non-British”, says Senior Course Tutor, Deirdre Hill. “We experience the international flavour of our Course to be a great strength, as we gain insights from our different educational and cultural backgrounds. Recent graduates have found positions in schools in Bulgaria, Spain and Cyprus, as well as Edinburgh.”

ESTEC'S Steiner Waldorf Initial Teacher Training programme has gained national recognition by being credit rated on to the SCQF by the University of Edinburgh. Designed to be underpinned by a BA, BSC or equivalent degree, it offers six Courses, each challenging and interesting in its own right and each accredited with a Certificate at SCQF Level 10. The SCQF is acknowledged internationally - aligned to other qualifications frameworks across the UK and Ireland and also to the European Qualifications Framework.

ESTEC has always been at the forefront of Steiner Education in the UK, recognised by the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship for four decades. Over the last five years, it has been working tirelessly to widen awareness of its rigour and holistic approach to teaching that looks at education from a different standpoint to the mainstream school sector and to work with the GTCS to agree arrangements that will enable Steiner-trained teachers to remain compliant with the law and to obtain recognition for the Course.

The SCQF framework provides a way of showing how qualifications relate to each other in Scotland and to other qualifications around the world, measuring qualifications by level of difficulty (Levels 1 - 12) and time taken (1 SCQF credit = 10 hours of learning time). Accredited with an SCQF Level 10 rating, the Course is now commensurate with other Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes.

“Students on this Course are now recognised as working at Level 10 of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF)” says Quality Assurance Coordinator, Emily Maclean. “We have been guided and supported by The University of Edinburgh to ensure that we reach and maintain that credit-rating in our delivery and assessments. This assurance of the good standing and credibility of our Courses is invaluable in enhancing our training as a valid international Steiner Waldorf training programme, not just by Steiner Waldorf schools, but by governing bodies too.”

Successful graduates of the 3-year (part-time) Professional Diploma in Steiner Waldorf Education are now eligible to gain registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) as a Named School Only Steiner Teacher within Steiner Waldorf Schools in Scotland, enabling graduates to comply with new legislation phased in in October 2020, which requires all teachers in independent schools to be registered, outlined in The Education (Scotland) Act 2016.

ESTEC students strive towards autonomously working within a set of unifying principles that call out to be adapted: a framework that advocates practical and creative activities are as important as the development of thinking for learning to take place; offering a broad curriculum that encourages creative teaching for sustainable learning which embraces the individual child on their developing journey.

“I was drawn to ESTEC because I was having doubts about going back into mainstream education. I remember thinking to myself, I want this [Steiner] education so badly for my children, why shouldn’t I look into it for myself”, says Second Year student, Tess McNatt.

To learn more about the six Courses, read their new prospectus now.


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