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WYNSTONES IN DEVELOPMENT

WYNSTONES’ ARCHIVE

Profile: Sylvie Sklan

Roles

Co-opted to Board of Trustees May 2020
Vice Chair of the Teaching, Learning, Safeguarding and SEND committee

Key Skills

Networking, lobbying and communicating
School governance
Visioning and initiation communication

Bio

“My parents were brought together through their shared interest in anthroposophy. They somehow managed to find sponsors for me and my five siblings so that we could all have a Steiner education. Fourteen years at the Edinburgh Steiner School nurtured in me a faith that a late approach to learning is no disadvantage, and I also developed a ‘can-do’ attitude that has served me well.

“I attended Bath University to study sociology, which included a travel scholarship to India. I then moved straight into a research assistant job with the Runnymede Trust and following this, became a researcher at the Social Evaluation Unit, University of Oxford on a Home Office-funded inner city project. Here I cut my lobbying teeth on race and immigration issues.

“I spent the next six years starting a family and running a smallholding on the Welsh borders. After this we travelled as a family to the outback of Zambia, where my husband managed a vast, government-owned farm. Life was full of adventure, but the children were little and malaria was a constant threat.

“On our return we joined a new Steiner school in Much Dewchurch, now Steiner Academy Hereford, marking the beginning of a new and significant chapter with my involvement in education. As a parent, I became a supply teacher and then Chair of the Council, which led me to working for the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship. I successfully made the case that Steiner education should be part of the publicly-funded school system. This was enormously rewarding when the go-ahead was given for the first Steiner Academy. I went on to work with a range of parent groups to establish three new Steiner academies.

“I bring to my role as Trustee at Wynstones 20 years of experience of working with education Ministers and officials at all levels, as well as first-hand experience of Steiner education as a pupil, a parent and a grandparent. My involvement with the Steiner Academy Hereford was very full time whilst it was being established, followed by nine years as Sponsor Lead which continues today. I also bring considerable experience of school governance.”