effe has been represented in the UK by the charity Human Scale Education (HSE) since 1993. HSE is an education reform movement committed to small scale learning communities based on the values of democracy, justice and respect. HSE works directly with schools and parents to promote human scale learning environments where children and young people are known and valued as individuals. HSE believes that ‘humanity of scale’ and the ‘primacy of relationships’ should not only inform the design of our schools but should also influence our public sector services.
The main focus of effe’s work in the UK has been to support small schools and learning centres which are based on alternative pedagogical approaches and which are committed to the development of the whole child, because of the distinctive nature of these approaches. The majority of these schools do not receive any public funding and so it is helpful for them to be part of a wider network to share information and learn from each other. It also enables them to be kept informed of developments in Europe concerning schools with alternative pedagogies. A number of conferences and workshops - which are open to teachers from the maintained sector - on a range of different themes have been organised to enable members to meet each other.
Due to the lack of state support such schools in the UK generally have to charge fees, though most endeavour to keep fees as low as they can to make the schools as accessible as possible. In an effort to raise the profile of different educational approaches and to attract funding, effe UK was involved in the Third Sector Schools Alliance in the early 2000s, campaigning with Human Scale Education alongside Small Schools, Steiner Schools and Montessori Schools for state support. The situation now in the UK regarding finance is that the Coalition government has introduced the free schools programme to enable new schools to be established and funded.While a small number of Steiner and Montessori schools have acquired free school status the majority of alternative schools have decided not to apply.
The current focus of effe UK is to provide a network for schools working in different ways and to draw attention to the importance of child-centred and democratic approaches which respect the dignity and rights of every child.
European Forum for Freedom in Education
Europäisches Forum für Freiheit im Bildungswesen
Le Forum Européen pour la Liberté dans l´Education