Bristol

Steiner Academy Bristol in Ofsted legal challenge

Steiner Academy Bristol Image copyright Google
Image caption The school was set up in 2014 and has 377 pupils aged four to 16

A Steiner school is to launch a legal challenge against Ofsted after its latest report rated it "inadequate" and placed it in special measures.

Steiner Academy Bristol's governing body said it wanted to "challenge the inspection process and report" after the unannounced inspection in November.

The report's criticisms included concerns about safeguarding, bullying and high exclusion rates.

Ofsted said it took "all complaints about our inspections seriously".

Steiner schools have an ethos of education taking account of the academic, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the child.

'Unfair decision'

Steiner Academy Bristol said it was "concerned" that Ofsted's approach to Steiner schools had "impacted on the fairness and independence of the inspection process".

It said a request to Ofsted that it "re-inspect with a fresh inspection team" had been refused.

Steiner Academy Bristol governor Roy Douglas 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."

He said the school had "no alternative but to issue a legal challenge".

Deb Meachin, who has three children at the school, said it had been the "best choice" for her family.

She 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."

An Ofsted spokesperson said: "Our inspection judgements are never made lightly. They can have a significant impact on a school, its pupils and parents, and the community.

"However, the safety, well-being and educational achievement of pupils is paramount."

It said it would deal with the complaint about the inspection "as quickly as possible".

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