Support French Steiner critic Grégoire Perra

A former Steiner Waldorf teacher turned whistleblower has been targeted by Anthroposophists via legal complaints. Grégoire Perra faces not one but three such complaints concerning his accounts of the shoddy goings on in the French Waldorf school circuit. He has already faced one such legal complaint and won. Grégoire has estimated the costs to defend himself will run to around £11,500. As he’s not at all a wealthy man Grégoire is asking for support via crowdfunding.

As you can see from his blog, Grégoire’s prose is thoughtful, reflective stuff. He’s still a couple of grand short of reaching the crowdfunding target so please help out if you can, every little helps. Here’s the crowdfunding link and the link’s also been added to the Blogroll for the duration.

Bon chance Grégoire!

Ofsted tally of SWSF inadequate schools increases

There are currently 29 schools listed on the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowhip’s (SWSF) website. There had been 30 until Ofsted finally put the Rudolf Steiner School King’s Langley (RSSKL) out of its misery and closed it down.  What Ofsted found at ‘Rotten to the core’ RSSKL and what has come to light since its closure has been awful, shocking stuff. Fearful that the chaos and dangers seen at RSSKL may exist in other Steiner school settings, Ofsted went into overdrive inspecting a further 11 schools during November and December 2018. The results were dire: 3 of the 4 state funded Steiner Academies inspected were rated inadequate, one of them was closed immediately due to safety concerns. Three other schools were found to be inadequate and three more were adjudged ‘requires improvement’.

Ofsted boss Amanda Spielman wrote to her own boss, Damian Hinds, Secretary of State for Education to report on what was found and made clear her thoughts as to why the systemic chronic failures occurred:

Given the prevalence and seriousness of these issues across both state-funded and independent Steiner schools, they raise questions about whether these common failures are a result of the underlying principles of Steiner education.

And she urged Hinds to:

…consider and further investigate why so many of the Steiner schools inspected are neither protecting children adequately nor giving them a good standard of education.

As the government currently is as dysfunctional as some of the Steiner schools we’ve been hearing about, I highly doubt there’ll be much done about this matter. If Hinds stays in post long enough he might find time to read the Woods report into Steiner schools and from that he should be able to fathom out that Steiner schools are Anthroposophical schools – they deliver education according to Steiner’s racist fantasist belief system. Anyway, while we wait for government to do its job, I’ve done a bit more digging around.

I took a look at all of the inspection data I could find for SWSF listed schools. Five more Ofsted reports have come in and, sadly for some of the children and parents involved, the Steiner  inspections remain on trend:

Name of school Ofsted judgement Date inspected
Michael Hall School Good 11/02/2019
St. Paul’s Steiner School Good 08/05/2019
Leeds Steiner School requires improvement 14/03/2019
Alder Bridge School Inadequate 26/02/2019
Brighton Waldorf Inadequate 05/03/2019

As you can see, with 2 ‘goods’ in the latest 5 results, it isn’t all doom and gloom within the Steiner school sector but there are 2 ‘inadequates’ and a ‘requires improvement’ which is pretty damning in and of itself, let alone the appalling inspection results already to hand. I haven’t done anything much other than skim read the 5 latest reports but it seemed to me on first glance that in these failing schools (Brighton, Alder Bridge and Leeds) the issues were to do with leadership, admin and educational attainment.

For the sake of completeness, here’s the SWSF current list of schools previously inspected as part of Ofsted’s November/December blitz. Apologies for the poor layout, I hope to be able to do something better with Excel lists in the near future. Kings Langley, where this mostly started, is closed and so no longer appears on the SWSF list.

Name of school Ofsted judgement Date inspected
Steiner Academy Frome Inadequate 09/10/2018
Steiner Academy Exeter Inadequate 21/11/2018
London Steiner School Inadequate 27/11/2018
Wynstones School Inadequate 27/11/2018
Greenwich Steiner School requires improvement 27/11/2018
Michael House Inadequate 04/12/2018
Moorland Waldorf Initiative Requires improvement 04/12/2018
Iona School requires improvement 04/12/2018
Steiner Academy Hereford Good 11/12/2018
Steiner Academy Bristol Inadequate 18/01/2019

Of the 16 Ofsteds to date, 8 are judged inadequate, 4 require improvement, 4 are good. How many SWSF schools will still be around in 6 months’ time is anybody’s guess but at least one has already decided to call it a day. As I announced in a recent tweet, the Michael House Steiner school is to close in July this year. The Ofsted ‘inadequate’ report and insurmountable financial problems led the school to decide to go into administration and plan for closure this Summer. More on this and on the Ofsteds as news comes in.