Steiner Waldorf: New school fails Ofsted just three months before it is due to open

A new private school has failed its Ofsted inspection – three months before it is due to open.

Langley Hill School is the successor to Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley (RSSKL), which was forced to close last year after long-standing failings with leadership and student safeguarding.

Now Ofsted inspectors have given their verdict on a new school, based on the same site and expected to follow a similar curriculum – and say that it too is unlikely to pass muster.

The report says that:

*There are “no plans in place for two-year-old children” – despite the school’s proposal to admit two-year-olds ;

*There is no curriculum plan for A-levels, nor are there plans for careers guidance;

*Neither the assistant headteacher nor teachers have been recruited;

*The school’s leaders had significantly underestimated how much work was needed before classrooms were ready to be used again;

*Staff from the former school were on site during the inspection, “with little convincing explanation as to why”.

The report adds: “The headteacher has not yet been confirmed in post, even though the school has advertised to parents that a headteacher has been appointed.

“Pending further recruitment checks, the headteacher does not join the school formally until August 2019.

“There are no formal plans about the headteacher’s induction and support.”

It adds: “The proprietorial body is hoping that the headteacher will be able to undertake some of this work, prior to the agreed start date in August 2019.

“This is not a formal arrangement.”

Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley closed in the summer of 2018 following a two-year saga.

The school repeatedly failed inspections by Ofsted, with safeguarding of students a key concern.

Although Langley Hill is a new school, it is expected to follow a similar curriculum, and around half the staff will be former RSSKL employees.

The new school is set to charge fees of up to £15,000.

RSSKL closed permanently in June 2018 following a two-year saga. The school had a number of problems with safeguarding of students, leadership, and was ultimately unable to get insurance to remain open.

The school followed a ‘Waldorf’ education, and charged students £9,857-a-year to attend.

There is some discreprancy about the curriculum of the new, Langley Hill, school. Although the school’s”intended vision” is for the “best principles” of Waldorf education, the inspectors state that the “schemes of work do not adhere to the proprietorial body’s Waldorf inspired, intended curriculum plan closely”.

The report also express concerns about the number of staff from the old school who may be employed at Langley Hill.

It adds: “The proprietorial body has not considered how they are going to assure themselves that any staff who worked in the previous school, and are appointed, are well supported and trained in the ethos and expectations of the proposed new school.”

The Ofsted report did give them some positive feedback.

These include the “clear vision” and policies about pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

It adds: “ These are included in policies on equality, British values, PSHE and in the vision, values and ethos documents.”

Editor’s note: “An earlier version of this article referenced the Avanti Schools Trust. We have been asked to make it clear that Langley Hall Independent School is not part of the Avantia Schools Trust. We are happy to make the clarification and apologise for any confusion caused.”


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