Rudolf Steiner
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Should Rudolf Steiner schools receive public money?

1 August 2014 Last updated at 00:19 BST

Steiner schools have been popular for decades among the more liberal and bohemian middle classes.

They take their name from Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian-born occultist who died in 1925, but whose ideas - anthroposophy - live on.

It is a spiritual doctrine that covers everything from homeopathy and biodynamic farming to the purpose of life.

Newsnight has learned that complaints about bullying at Steiner schools have been made to the Department for Education.

In one case a parent complained that a teacher at a privately funded school had said they thought bullying was part of how kids "worked out their karma".

However, since the government received these complaints, it has agreed to fund three new Steiner free schools.

Chris Cook reports.