Wynstones head apologises as plans to reopen are scrapped

WYNSTONES Steiner School in Whaddon will not be reopening this September due to an insufficient number of pupils on its roll.

The school’s new principal, Paul Hougham, has issued an apology to all the families who had applied for places and staff members who had taken on posts at the school.

In an open letter he said: “It is with great sadness that I need to announce it will not be possible to re-open the school this September as planned.

“Unfortunately, at this point we do not have sufficient numbers to ensure the school would be financially viable in the coming year.”

Wynstones School closed down in the wake of a damning Ofsted report last year.

Paul Hougham took the helm in March 2020, two months after Ofsted found “fundamental failings” had put children “at risk of harm”.

He set about “completely clearing the decks and resetting safeguarding and governance policies and practice”.

As part of this overhaul, he appointed a new management team and board of trustees, and replaced all but two of its 64 staff.

He had planned to reopen in September and aimed to achieve an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating within seven years.

But after an insufficient number of pupils enrolled, a decision was made to cancel the relaunch.

He said: “In order to ensure that families have time to make alternative arrangements for their children’s education the Board of Trustees have had to make the difficult decision to stop preparations for provision this September.

“We are terribly sorry to those families who have applied for places and the staff with whom we had been looking forward to working alongside.

“At this stage, all monies donated to the school’s bursary fund for this coming September will now be returned, with thanks for the support towards our inclusion agenda. Equally, all application fees will also be returned.

“The next steps are being considered by the Board and further announcements will be made in due course.”

He added that the call for “a high-quality holistic education remains, and how that is achieved is a conversation that I, personally, remain committed to and hope, at some point, to participate in again.”

The letter was signed off: “With deep regret, Paul Hougham, Principal.”

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