Challenge Ofsted’s approach to inspection of Steiner Schools

by Governing Body of Steiner Academy Bristol

Challenge Ofsted’s approach to inspection of Steiner Schools

by Governing Body of Steiner Academy Bristol
Governing Body of Steiner Academy Bristol
Case Owner
We seek to apply to the High Court for a ruling that the inspection process & the judgements formed are irrational & show evidence of apparent bias & the inspection report be quashed.
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£17,130
pledged of £50,000 stretch target from 350 pledges
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Governing Body of Steiner Academy Bristol
Case Owner
We seek to apply to the High Court for a ruling that the inspection process & the judgements formed are irrational & show evidence of apparent bias & the inspection report be quashed.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: Jan. 29, 2019

First milestone reached - Thank you everyone!

We are so delighted by all the pledges of support which mean we have hit our first target of £15,000. Thank you so much! 

We are now instructing our legal team to issue proceedings for a ...

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Steiner Academy Bristol is a free school which opened in Bristol in 2014. The school was inspected by Ofsted in November and judged to be Inadequate and is now in Special Measures. This will mean that the Academy will be taken over by a Multi-Academy Trust and it may not continue to follow the Steiner Curriculum and philosophy. 

Whilst we take the report very seriously we had a number of concerns about it's findings and wanted to work with Ofsted to resolve these. Unfortunately we feel that the position Ofsted has adopted throughout this process has left the board of governors with no other option than to investigate a legal challenge. 

We are therefore raising funds to mount a legal challenge against Ofsted's decision. If you believe in maintaining Steiner education in the state sector - or just that schools should be able to offer a different kind of education - please contribute now and share this page with your friends, family and on social media.

The legal claim will argue that the Ofsted inspection was flawed, that they failed to follow guidance and the code of conduct relating to inspections, and the inspectors lacked a proper evidential basis for their conclusions. It will also argue that we believe that there was apparent bias in the way that Ofsted carried out their inspection. 

In December 2018 an article in Telegraph stated the Education Secretary Damian Hinds had written to the chief inspector of Ofsted demanding “additional scrutiny” of all Steiner schools in a memo to the Chief Inspector of Ofsted dated 15th November 2018. We have requested disclosure of this letter, but the request has been refused.

We believe that the inspection and judgement process suggests an apparent bias against Steiner education. We are concerned that multiple Steiner Academies were subjected to unannounced inspections over a very short time period and we are asking the High Court to make a ruling that the inspectors came into school with a pre-determined view. 

For the above reasons, we requested Ofsted carry out a fresh inspection with a new team of inspectors. We also asked Ofsted to provide us with documents to properly understand the reason for the unannounced inspection and what information had been provided to inspectors beforehand.  

Ofsted have refused our request so to do. 

We now seek to have the inspection process and judgements in the report judicially reviewed.

What we are fighting for

Our initial goal is to instruct our legal team to prepare the case to issue judicial review proceedings and obtain disclosure of information. We have made multiple requests, including via a ‘pre-action’ legal letter, but Ofsted have refused to provide us with the information we requested because they say it is not 'proportionate'. With these documents we will be able to properly consider our legal challenge. 

How much we are raising and why? 

At this stage we need to raise £15,000 to cover the estimated legal costs to prepare the case to issue Judicial Review proceedings and to ask for an order for Ofsted to disclose key documents. But we can't do it without your help. 

The funds we raise will cover our legal costs for this first stage of the case and any potential liability for other legal fees if our case is not successful. If there are any left-over funds they will be put into an improvement fund for the school. 

Time is of the essence so please help us NOW! Contribute as much or as little as you can and PLEASE spread the word and share this page. Many thanks.





Update 3

Governing Body of Steiner Academy Bristol

Jan. 29, 2019

First milestone reached - Thank you everyone!

We are so delighted by all the pledges of support which mean we have hit our first target of £15,000. Thank you so much! 

We are now instructing our legal team to issue proceedings for a judicial review of our inspection. They will apply for an immediate order requiring OFSTED to disclose key evidence which we believe will support our contention of bias, unfairness and irrationality.

With this disclosure and all the evidence we have supplied them with, our legal team will be able to advise us on the strength of our case. If, as we believe, they advise us that we have a good case, we will take the case to a full hearing.

We will keep you updated on our progress as soon as we are able to share information.

We will need to continue to raise funds to take this to the High Court, please continue to share the campaign and donate. Please keep supporting us so we will be able to fight on. 

Thank you again for your support, we really feel we have so many people backing us!

Update 2

Governing Body of Steiner Academy Bristol

Jan. 27, 2019

Nearly there! Please keep sharing

Wow thank you so much to everyone who has pledged. We are nearly there, its fantastic.

Please keep sharing the campaign to help us meet our target. 

Update 1

Governing Body of Steiner Academy Bristol

Jan. 24, 2019

Half way to our target!

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far, we're overwhelmed with the message of support from around the globe. Today we have had lots more additional press coverage of the case from The Guardian, TES and Schools Week, starting to share our message in the national media.  

Please continue to share this page and ask your friends and family to donate to this cause. Can you email 5 friends today? Or share the page on your Facebook page? 

Thank you again for your support. 

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