Hungary: The first Waldorf School was founded already in 1926 in Budapest. Unfortunately the initiative was not able to survive for long. Since 1989, the five Waldorf schools developed, which belong to the Budapest landscape of schools today. At first, work could only start with a special permit, later on a new school law made it easier for alternative schools to develop. Today the 26 (2010) Waldorf schools, located all over the country, fight against the saving measures of the government as well as the insufficient state of the buildings.
A few years ago there was a time when Pestihidegkut Waldorf School was the only school in Budapest, which was different to all the others. This school attracted wide interest, not because it was Waldorf oriented, but because it meant the only possibility for parents to express their dissatisfaction with the public school system. Currently, the application lists for the school are still too full to admit everybody, but today the support for Waldorf education throughout the parents has clearly grown and since quite some time Pestihidegkut Waldorf School is not the only alternative to the public school system anymore and furthermore not the only Waldorf school in Budapest.
In the meantime the Hungarian school system knows five types of schools: primary school, secondary school, training school, school of arts and special school. The Waldorf schools are considered comprehensive schools, combining two school types, as in primary and secondary school. Whereas Waldorf schools can be derived from the school types, their curriculum is fundamentally different to the public curriculum. Therefore many teachers have put in a lot of effort over the years to obtain the official approval of the Waldorf curriculum. Today we can say their fight was successful, as the Waldorf curriculum enjoys an equal status compared to public schools.
The second Waldorf School in Budapest and throughout the country was the school founded in Kamaraerdö, which was located in Budaörs beforehand. In 1992 Obuda Waldorf School followed, which grew very quickly and introduced an own upper school. Five years later Rakosmenti School opened its doors in 1997 and finally the fifth school opened in Kispest, but is however not a member of the Hungarian Association for Waldorf Education.
With five Waldorf schools in Budapest and many more throughout the country, Hungary has seen an unequalled development of the Waldorf movement. However, the financial distress of the country also weighs heavily on the schools. Despite various negotiations, the Waldorf schools have to carry burdening saving measures.