ONE of Britain’s leading defence lawyers is representing a group of parents who are fighting back against a damning Ofsted report.

With Michael Mansfield QC at the helm, families of pupils at Wynstones Steiner school in Whaddon, have launched a legal challenge against Ofsted.

The Steiner Waldorf school, which is located in Whaddon, on the outskirts of Gloucester, and has many pupils from Stroud, closed in January after the education watchdog found it had ‘serious and widespread failures’.

Human rights barrister Michael Mansfield, who has worked on a number of high profile cases, including representing Stephen Lawrence’s family; the victims of the Grenfell Tower and Hillsborough disasters, and Mohamed al-Fayed in the inquests into the deaths of Dodi Fayed and Princess Diana, has taken the case on.

Mr Mansfield has now submitted an application for judicial review to the Administrative Court, a specialist court within the High Court of Justice of England and Wales.

A judicial review is a court proceeding in which a judge considers the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body. It can't be filed directly, the court needs to be asked for permission first.

A spokesman for the Wynstones Parent Initiative, a group of over 50 parents, said: "The formal submission is a 14,300-word document, written by Michael Mansfield QC and the legal team, which sets out in exhaustive legal detail the grounds for the legal claim that we are making against Ofsted.

"It is contended that the January 2020 Ofsted Report on Wynstones school cannot stand because its blanket condemnatory conclusions, particularly in relation to safeguarding, are irrational and unlawful on several grounds.

"The legal team is also arguing that Ofsted has not followed its own procedures - and as a result, well in excess of 200 children have lost their education at a school which both children and parents valued, causing severe and lasting detriment."

A spokesman for Ofsted said: "This is a published report, which the school’s trustees accepted. Ofsted did not close the school and has no power to do so. The trustees of the school closed it."

In response, the parents' group said the trustees 'had no choice', having been told by the Department of Education that if they did not close Wynstones, the school would be de-registered and “trustees who operate a school which is not registered are liable to unlimited fines and imprisonment".

The parents have launched a second fund-rising site to help with legal costs, visit: