Steiner state school in Bristol launches legal action against Ofsted

According to The Guardian a Steiner school in Bristol is launching legal action against its latest Ofsted report, which rated the school as “inadequate” and resulted in it being placed in special measures.

The governing body of Steiner Academy Bristol said the schools watchdog’s inspection and judgment process showed bias against Steiner schools.

The legal challenge will argue the Ofsted inspection was flawed and inspectors lacked proper evidential basis for their conclusions.

A series of Ofsted inspections, published in the past few weeks, found three of the four Steiner schools set up under the Conservatives’ free schools programme to be inadequate. The snap inspections followed an intervention by the education secretary, Damian Hinds, over concerns about safeguarding at the schools.

The school’s governing body said it was concerned the inspection came after a letter sent from Hinds to the chief inspector of Ofsted, calling for additional scrutiny of all Steiner schools. The body believes the approach Ofsted has taken to Steiner schools has impacted the fairness and independence of the inspection process.

Roy Douglas, a governor at Steiner Academy Bristol, said: “While we take the report very seriously and recognise that improvements need to be made, we do not consider that the decision to place us in special measures was fair. We have a number of concerns about the way the inspection process was conducted and the judgments made, and wanted to work with Ofsted to resolve these.”

“While we have decided we have no alternative but to issue a legal challenge regarding the inspection, we will continue to support the academy management committee, which has taken interim responsibility for managing the school in delivering sustained improvements,” he added.

Deb Meachin, a parent with a child at the school, said: “I chose Steiner education because I didn’t want my children to be part of a system that puts more emphasis on testing, ticking boxes and results, with reduced time for creativity. It has encouraged my children’s individualism and it has been the best choice we have made for our family.”

Read more Steiner state school in Bristol launches legal action against Ofsted

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