PARENTS of children at a ‘failing’ Steiner school are fighting back against Ofsted.

Families of pupils at Wynstones School, which closed down at the start of the year after the education watchdog found “serious and widespread failures” are planning to launch a legal challenge against Ofsted following its damning report.

The school in Whaddon near Gloucester closed in January after Ofsted found “significant safeguarding concerns”, with inspectors describing the school’s safeguarding culture as “weak”.

But now the Wynstones Parent Initiative, a group of over 50 parents, is aiming to bring a judicial review against Ofsted’s judgement.

The group is currently fundraising, with a £4,000 target, towards legal costs.

Parent spokesman Arthur Edwards said: “We are pursuing a judicial review to highlight the fact that while Oftsed has great power to judge and regulate others, it is arguably itself above the law.

“We believe that Ofsted has been operating in a high-handed manner without regard for real educational principles, and without taking consideration of parents’ educational rights and associated choices.

“At the very least, a pause is urgently needed on its modus operandi, which is widely experienced as being demoralising and unhelpful.

“The effect on Wynstones’ children and families has been devastating and completely unwarranted.

“Ofsted has not followed normal procedures in this case, but has arguably pursued a bullying agenda that has the effect of intimidating schools and depriving parents of an education of their choice.

“We are in a process of preparing a legal case against Ofsted and the Department of Education, and have wide support from eminent educationalists and an agreement from Michael Mansfield QC to take the case.

“We have also produced a report that details the awful effects of the school closure on children and families, and a detailed ‘counter-report’ that challenges and refutes many of the judgements in the inspection report.

“We want to put the case for a different, more sympathetic approach to assessing educational outcomes.

"A healthy future for England’s education system necessitates the confronting of politicised bullying which seeks to impose a standardising high-stakes audit culture and mould our schools and our children in its single vision.”

Donations can be made towards the legal costs at