Two more Steiner schools face funding termination

Academies in Bristol and Frome receive warning notices following damning Ofsted reports

Martin George

Two more Steiner academies have received termination warning notices.

Two more Steiner academies have been told that the Department for Education is planning to end their funding agreements and transfer them to new academy trusts.

The department today published termination warning notices that it sent to Steiner Academy Bristol and Steiner Academy Frome on 30 January.

Both notices follow Ofsted inspection reports that found the schools to be inadequate in all areas, and put them in special measures.

In December, the DfE published a termination warning notice for Steiner Academy Exeter, which also followed a damning Ofsted report.

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In both of the notices published today, regional schools commissioner Lisa Mannall says she does “not have confidence that the trust is able to rapidly and sustainably improve the academy’s systems of governance and management, and educational standards".

She adds: “I am therefore minded to terminate the funding agreement of the academy and transfer the school to a strong multi-academy trust that can provide the capacity for continued improvement.”

Both schools are currently in single-academy trusts.

The governors of Steiner Academy Bristol have said they would mount a legal challenge to the Ofsted report that placed it in special measures.

Last month, Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman wrote to education secretary Damian Hinds calling for the closure of inadequate Steiner schools that did not show rapid improvement.

The inspections of the Steiner academies in Bristol, Frome and Exeter were part of a batch of Ofsted inspections of Steiner schools.

They had found a number of areas of common weakness, stating that many children were inadequately safeguarded and were receiving a poor quality of education.

Steiner Academy Bristol and Steiner Academy Frome have until 20 February to make representations about the DfE’s plans.

Joss Hayes, principal of Steiner Academy Bristol, said: “External partners have already confirmed that safeguarding is effective at the school.  We are committed to making improvements and have started implementing a number of new learning programmes”.

The school added that its board of governors has raised more than £17,000 from crowdfunding to mount a legal challenge to the Ofsted judgement, while a petition requesting a fresh inspection has more than 2,400 signatures.

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Martin George

Martin George

Martin George is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @geomr

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