Wynstones Steiner school in Gloucester had ‘toxic’ culture

wynstones steiner school in gloucester had toxic culture - Wynstones Steiner school in Gloucester had 'toxic' cultureImage copyright Google
Image caption Wynstones School in Gloucester taught children aged three to 19

A Steiner school had a “toxic” culture with children at risk of serious harm, a report has said.

Inspectors visited Wynstones School in Gloucester last month and found “serious and widespread failures”, causing it to be shut on 28 January.

An Ofsted report has now outlined the findings of the inspectors, who said the 212-pupil school was inadequate.

The school’s trustees said they were already addressing “these shortcomings” and “robust action is under way”.

Ofsted said leaders at the school did not address or challenge staff behaviour which was “unacceptable and places pupils at significant risk”.

The education watchdog said a group of “resistant” teachers blocked any attempts to change the school.

Parents ‘felt intimidated’

Children aged three to four years old in kindergarten were also “at risk of significant harm” as child protection issues were not dealt with “in line with statutory safeguarding requirements”.

Inspectors also found parents felt intimidated raising bullying problems, resulting in children leaving the school.

“Relationships between staff and parents and carers have led to a situation where children’s safety is secondary to vested interests.

“The staff body is divided and those who want to change are intimidated by other staff and a body of parents who want to retain control over the school,” the report said.

The school teaches pupils from three to 19 years old with annual fees up to £10,000 a year.

A trustee spokesman said: “Our steps towards change will enable the school to reopen safely and include staff training on teaching, safeguarding and first aid.”

They said they were also recruiting a new head teacher, two new senior leaders and a special needs co-ordinator.

Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship, which represents UK Steiner schools, says it was “deeply concerned” by the failures and supported the planned changes.

Previously Wynstone Ltd also ran a boarding school at the same site but this closed in November.

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