Gloucestershire

Wynstones Steiner School closed over 'widespread failures'

Wynstones Steiner School Image copyright Google
Image caption The school teaches children aged three to 19

A Steiner school has closed after education watchdog Ofsted found "serious and widespread failures".

Wynstones Steiner School, a school in Whaddon near Gloucester, was rated inadequate as "significant safeguarding concerns" were found.

Ofsted visited the school earlier this month and a report is due to be published about these concerns.

The independent school's trustees said "robust action" would be taken so the school can reopen.

The school teaches students aged three to 19.

A previous Ofsted report published in January 2019, after an inspection in November 2018, had found that on two occasions untrained staff had restrained pupils, the Local Democracy Service reported.

This report related to the boarding accommodation at the school for overseas pupils, which later closed in November 2019.

"This poor practice leaves children and staff at risk," the report said.

The inspectors said the school's safeguarding culture was "weak", as "leaders, managers, staff and trustees do not protect children from harm".

"Leaders and managers have failed to ensure effective management of safeguarding matters," the report said.

Ofsted said the school's strengths were providing children with "good quality accommodation", children said that it was a good school, and leaders and managers have a "good understanding about private fostering arrangements".

Ofsted inspectors previously visited the independent school and published a progress monitoring report in October 2019.

It stated the trustees "maintain effective oversight of safeguarding practice" at the school, but the overall outcome stated it did not meet all of the independent school standards that were checked during this inspection.

A spokesman for the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship said a further inspection on 20-21 January identified new failures in safeguarding processes, and the report is yet to be published.

A spokesman for the school's trustees said: "The trustees of Wynstones Steiner School confirm that the school is closed while the trustees and senior leadership team address the significant safeguarding concerns reported by Ofsted in their recent inspection.

"Robust action will be taken to tackle these issues swiftly and enable the school to re-open safely."

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