I Swear by Almighty Steiner…

Within the annual accounts and report of the Norfolk Initiative Steiner School (NISS) is the usual bumf about the mechanics of elections of officers and so on.

Like many private schools NISS is registered as both a charity and as a limited company. It is usual for such charitable business set-ups such as NISS is to have the company directors of the company serving also as trustees of the charity. For NISS the founding members of the company appear to hold the balance of power.

Technically these founding members will be the people signing up to the legally required founding documents of the company, its Memorandum and Articles of Association. The excerpt below is from NISS’ annual accounts and report for 2005. It begins mundanely:

The Memorandum and Articles of Association require that the number of members of the Board of Trustees shall not be less than three or until otherwise determined by a General Meeting more than eleven. The first members of the Board of Trustees shall be appointed by the subscribers to the Memorandum of Association.

So far so dry. The next bit explains how new trustees might come about:

The Board of Trustees may from time to time and at any time appoint any person whom the Board of Trustees in their discretion think fit as a Trustee either to fill a casual vacancy or by way of addition to the Board PROVIDED THAT the prescribed maximum be not thereby exceeded. Any member so appointed shall retain her or his office only until the next Annual General Meeting, but subject hereto s/he shall then be eligible for re-election. Any new members must be appointed by consensual agreement and acclamation.

OK OK here’s the amusing bit:

Further, any newly appointed trustee must openly declare that they fully subscribe to the philosophy and praxis of Steiner Waldorf education. No person who is not a member of the Association shall in any circumstances be eligible to hold office as a Trustee.

Now, morbid curiosity this may be but how and when does the trustee-to-be declare their subscription to Steiner beliefs? As we know of the movement, Anthroposophists have a fondness for rituals but what happens at one of these trustee inductions? Do incoming trustees have to hold a copy of Steiner’s ‘Occult Science’ in one hand and swear allegiance to his utterances or what? Very odd.

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