Top Steiner school ordered to close by Government over child safety fears

The Telegraph reports that the Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley had already been banned by the Department for Education (DfE) from admitting any new pupils, following a series of damning Ofsted inspections which uncovered a raft of safeguarding failings.

It comes after Denis McCarthy, a senior staff member who was also a leading figure in the UK’s Steiner school movement, was sacked from the school for gross misconduct.

An inspection earlier this year found a series of underlying flaws. “Leaders have failed to identify that the culture of close relationships at the school puts pupils at risk,” inspectors said.

“Leaders have underplayed and misrepresented the school’s safeguarding failings to parents”. The school confirmed that one teacher, Mr McCarthy, had been dismissed in January for gross misconduct “following a series of concerns about safeguarding and SEND [special education needs and disability] provision, reluctance to follow management guidance and a breakdown of trust and confidence”.

Steiner schools, which are favoured by liberally-minded middle-class parents, base their curriculum on the spiritual philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, called anthroposophy.

The drastic move, which is only used as a last resort by ministers, follows a spate of highly critical inspections over the past 18 months.

The school has issued a public apology to children and their families for “real and serious failings going back several years”, acknowledging that it failed to act on “repeated concerns raised by parents” over safeguarding.

Read more  Top Steiner school ordered to close by Government over child safety fears

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