Anthroposophic Medicine UK

School Health Practitioners Training

April 2019

Steiner Waldorf School Health Practitioners Training was started with the encouragement and support of Dr Michaela Glöckler. During my work as a school doctor, it also became clear that many schools struggled to recruit a doctor and expressed a need to deepen the anthroposophic understanding of child development among staff within the Steiner schools. Following the interest from several teachers and therapists, this three-year training was set up. It was conceived, prepared and organised together with Dr_Michaela_Glöckler, Dr_Peter_Gruenewald, the advice of Dr Stefan.Geider and Sibylle.Eichstaedt. The training content follows the International Steiner School Doctors’ curriculum and has been endorsed by AHASC and the medical section of the Goetheanum, Dornach. The training also includes inner path work, anthroposophic therapies, working as a team and safeguarding legislation, as well as confidentiality and digital competency for example.  

In January 2017 we embarked on the three-year modular School Health Practitioners Training. The training consists of nine training weekends delivered by contributors including Dr.Michaela.Glöckler, Dr.Peter.Gruenewald, Dr.Michael.Evans, Dr.Bettina.Lohn, Dr.Karin.Michael, Dr.Tessabella.Lovemore and a number of therapists including Sibylle.Eichstaedt, John.Playfoot, John.Browning, Karin.Jarman and others. The trainees include doctors, a psychologist, anthroposophic therapists, a midwife and Steiner Waldorf teachers. In between the training modules, the trainees have met in mentoring groups regularly for the last two years to work through the material and prepare for the next module. Each group has a professional mentor: Dr.Peter.Gruenewald, Dr.Hedda.Joyce, Dr.Bettina.Lohn, Dr.Aija.Lace and Judith.Tabberner (school health nurse). Please see the three-year training plan and reading list. These mentoring groups provide support for practical work in the individual setting and will continue for a further year. The certification of completion of the training will be received by those who have met the required 85% of attendance. A certificate as School Health Practitioner (SHP) can be obtained from the medical section, Dornach, after a further year in practice under the guidance of the mentor. Following our model, a similar course has now started in Brazil and two further trainings are envisaged.

The course is aimed to equip the trainees with the necessary knowledge and experience to support the child in the school setting. The aim is to grow the knowledge and understanding of child development and intervention from a truly anthroposophic understanding in our schools. At the same time, their knowledge includes up-to-date safeguarding and mental health interventions. The SHP will work within their own setting but in a separate role, that is not the same to the traditional school doctor. They will be able to assess children, for example for school readiness, or observe in a class or see children individually together with parents in order to come to an anthroposophic diagnostic picture and develop together with the teacher and parent(s)/guardian’s plans for support or intervention. The role of the school health practitioner is to support the anthroposophic understanding of the child’s needs and offer their particular knowledge and insights with the rest of the team (teacher, parent, therapist) depending on their own training background. For example, an SHP-teacher can provide additional support in pedagogical tools whereas perhaps a school doctor could advise on particular health problems or an SHP-eurythmist on more precise and specific therapeutic interventions. The SHP will work within professional competency and according to the code of practice as developed by CAHSC.

If you would like to receive invitations of our training or to enrol in the next SHP training, please follow the link, thank you.

We look forward to meeting you.


Hedda Joyce

Dr med H. Joyce MRCGP,  Conference Organiser, General Practitioner and Anthroposophic Physician E:SchoolHealthProfessionals@gmail.com

Dr Joyce has been a school doctor for several Steiner Schools since 2000 including Cambridge, Bristol and Wynstones. She is currently working at the Steiner Academy Hereford.

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Upcoming School Health Practitioners Training Events

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Anthroposophic Medicine UK is an online platform for Anthroposophic Health and Social Care Professionals in the UK supported by the Anthroposophic Medical Association.