Rudolf Steiner School meeting: Parents told “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst”

Rudolf Steiner sign
Rudolf Steiner sign

Parents were told there are “lots and lots of problems” at an emotional meeting on Monday night at Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley.

At the special meeting parents were given an update on the £9,857-a-year school which could be forced to close.

Around 150 people were at the meeting, where trustees discussed the government’s moves to close to school as well as the possibility that it will be forced to close if it cannot get insurance for the next school year.

Chair of the trustees, Peter Harrington, told the meeting there was no single issue or member of staff which was to blame for the school’s plight, but that it was “consistent failings across a range of issues”.

He said: “There’s no secrets here. It’s a complicated situation.

“There are lots and lots of problems at the school.”

Parents were also told that the school was challenging the most recent Ofsted report, a topic which came up several times.

One parent later summed up his thoughts on Ofsted as “Screw you!” and said the inspection body had been “incredibly unfair at times”. He received loud applause.

Trustees said that the school is “close to completion” on a corporate loan to secure the school’s medium-term future.

Parents were allowed to ask questions at various intervals throughout the meeting.

One parent asked: “At the last meeting we were told that the safeguarding was a very minor issue: And that it had been reviewed and reviewed and reviewed, and things were put in place that would never happen again.

“Things that were so procedural should not be a cause for failure subsequently.

“Please do clarify.”

They were told: “We tried hard.

“There were no processes where there should have been processes and procedures.”

Parent trustee Laurence Chester was one of the last to speak. He struck one of the most downbeat notes of the evening, telling parents to “hope for the best but prepare for the worst.”

After admitting that school bosses had been “divided” he said: “We have a responsibility to be very clear about the extremely high level of risk that we feel the school to be at. To give any other impression would be to mislead you.”

Mr Chester added: “I think the odds are against us. That may not make me the most popular person in the room, and I accept that.”