A message from the trustees regarding the latest OFSTED Progress Monitoring inspection and report

The school recently (July 2019) received an interim inspection from OFSTED, following the full inspection which took place in November 2018. The trustees are pleased that the inspector reported that many of the issues raised in the previous report have been fully addressed. In areas such as welfare, health and safety of pupils, safeguarding, and provision of information, where deficits in paperwork and policies had caused concern to inspectors, the school is now fully compliant.

In the report, the inspector comments at several points on the thorough, swift and conscientious approach with which the school has approached this challenge, saying: “School leaders were distraught at the outcome of the inspection in November 2018, particularly the unmet standards regarding safeguarding and welfare. School staff, governors and trustees have responded to the unmet standards with genuine urgency and diligence.

“The school rightly prides itself on its nurturing practices and the good-quality care that it provides for pupils. This is reflected in leaders’ swift and effective response to the unmet standards relating to safeguarding and promoting the well-being of pupils.”

Some areas needing improvement were still outstanding at the time of the interim inspection, mainly around the quality of education provided. The school is working hard to address these concerns whilst maintaining the gentle and nurturing Steiner style of education which our parents so value. For example, the inspector notes that “…senior staff are working hard to develop a ‘Steiner sympathetic’ system in relation to assessment so that staff are able to establish pupils’ prior learning and track their progress over time in a way that aligns with Steiner philosophy.” They add that “Leaders are committed to meeting the standards that relate to the quality of education. However, they are open about the fact that they still need to think through how they can marry the Steiner philosophy with some of the remaining unmet independent school standard requirements.”

Trustees invite parents, members of the school community, and prospective parents to read the report in full, not just the headline judgements and would like to leave you with this message:

Staff and trustees have worked tirelessly over the last few months to address the concerns raised by inspectors, and are delighted that our efforts in many areas have resulted in standards now being met.

We are aware that work needs to be done in terms of articulating our educational quality, and we have extensive plans in place to meet inspection requirements. However we also remain fully committed to maintaining our underpinning philosophy that ‘Education is a journey, not a race’, and to providing a gentle and natural alternative to mainstream school.

We would like to thank the entire school community, including staff, trustees and the whole parent body, for their support, help and encouragement as we work to meet these ongoing challenges.”

OFSTED School Progress Monitoring Inspection Report – September 2019.

The School Inspection Service Report from November 2018 is published here.

The School Inspection Service Report from September 2015 is published here.

The School Inspection Service Report from June 2014 is published here.