The first Steiner National School in Galway opened in Knocknacarra in September 2015, under patronage of Lifeways Ireland, the patron body of Irish Steiner schools.
Galway Steiner National School is one of three Irish Steiner National Schools under the patronage of Lifeways Ireland, the other two being Mol and Oige Steiner National School in Ennistymon, Co. Clare and Raheen Woods Steiner National School in Tumagraney, Co. Clare.
Background to the School
The History of Galway Steiner National School goes back to 2013, when the Minister for Education earmarked a two stream school for Knocknacarra (to accommodate a long term projected need of up to 16 classrooms beginning with a 2 stream junior infant intake) based on census data indicating a shortage of school places. After inviting interested patrons to apply, the Department of Education and Skills (DES) announced that one stream of an Educate Together National School would open in 2014 and one stream of a Steiner National School would open in 2015.
Asked about his commitment to the development of Steiner education within the Irish education system, the Minister replied:
“My Department will continue to consider the recognition of new schools including those with a Steiner ethos in accordance with demographic growth in an area, parental demand, the potential for extending diversity of provision and available resources. All schools regardless of their ethos are expected to comply with the Education Act 1998 and the rules and regulations of my Department, particularly in relation to patronage, board of management, implementation of the curriculum, admissions policy and procedures for the appointment of teaching staff” (RQ, June 2012, Dáil Èireann) and (DES, 2013).
The demand for a Steiner school and the rapid growth in interest for the school confirmed the demand. In May 2015, Galway Steiner National School appointed its principal teacher and was provided with temporary accommodation in Knocknacarra.