The Telegraph reports in an ‘exclusive’ that Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley (RSSKS) has been ordered to close by the government. Six weeks ago, I reported on how the School had received a series of terrible inspection reports that resulted in the school being unable to take on new pupils. The Secretary of State for Education has now issued a notice for the school to be deregistered and closed.
The last Ofsted inspection report was damning and horrifying. At the heart of the problems were failures in child protection issues. One teacher, Denis McCarthy, was sacked for ‘gross misconduct’, although the nature of the misconduct has not been made public.
The School was due to close last week, but has lodged an appeal and will open for the new term today.
A central part of the concerns were over “a culture of close relationships” between pupils and teachers. These relationships extended beyond the professional relationships you would expect in a school.
Anyone with knowledge of the philosophy of Steiner Schools will understand that “a culture of close relationships” is a feature of Steiner Schools generally and not a single isolated aberrant example in this school. A defining attribute of Steiner Schools is how one teacher may stay with a class for many years and is encouraged to develop strong and personal bonds with children.
Kevin Avison, who is an ‘Executive Officer’ of the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship UK (the body that oversees Steiner standards), has written in ‘A Handbook for Waldorf (Steiner) Class Teachers’ exactly what is required of them in their relationships with pupils. For example, in a chapter entitled “How to make it difficult for anyone else to teach your class – ever!”, Avison says,
Tell the class frequently that they are a very special group (they must be to have you as a teacher) and let them know implicitly and explicitly that you are the only person fit and able to teach them. Alongside this, it helps to hint frequently that no-one else can or could handle them as you do.
Make a particular point of cultivating the strongest leaders in the class so that they see you as their special ally, the only adult who understands them.
Ensure that class evenings have as much as possible the quality of a party held in your own home.
Rewards, for example chocolates (especially if the school rule is no chocolate), should be awarded to indicate how pleased you are with an individual (and, of course, it’s “our secret”).
The Steiner Education approach is based on the clairvoyant visions of the mystic and esotericist Rudolf Steiner. His occult religious movement ‘Anthroposophy’ underpins all aspects of the school curriculum and approach. I have previously written about how the closed, cult-like movement behind these schools provides a dangerous environment for children. Although the schools often say that they ‘do not teach Anthroposophy’, Steiner Schools are indeed Anthroposophical Schools in that every aspect of the curriculum, school structure, teaching methods and governance is determined by the occult teachings of Rudolf Steiner on education, including the need to build these ‘close relationships’.
Whistleblowers have reported how this ‘close relationship’ cultivated within Steiner Schools can lead to obvious problems. Grégoire Perra has written extensively about his experiences in a Paris Steiner School and the “Questionable Closeness Between Students and Teachers”. It is worth quoting him extensively (with my emphasis),
One aspect of the insidious indoctrination in Waldorf schools is based on the establishment of a very close relationship between the teacher and his or her students. Firstly, this proximity is enhanced by the fact that the same class teacher can follow the same group of students for six to eight years. This obviously contributes to the creation of relationships that are more familial than professional. In addition, measures are deliberately taken to create the conditions for increased closeness. For example, it is common that some students become babysitters or housekeepers for their teachers to make some pocket money. And I worked in a school where the students knew absolutely everything about the private lives of their teachers. Teachers’ private lives had become a common topic of discussion in the playground, due to the feeling of living in a kind of extended family.
This continuing proximity of students with their teachers is such that it does not seem abnormal, unless significant missteps sometimes lead school officials to take some limited measures. Having been both witness and victim, I can say that unusual closeness is part of the rationale of these schools. This is why there is rarely any strong resistance against the excesses that may arise, but as much as possible they are tolerated. Some examples of these abuses that I have witnessed: It was not uncommon that some teachers went to a cafe with students for conversation and a glass of wine after school, or teachers invited students to come shopping with them. I also remember a high school teacher unashamedly distributing a postcard from her latest theatrical performance, where she was seen in a bathing suit. Yet this act amounted to distributing pictures of herself in underwear without realizing the trouble it could cause, encouraging developing adolescents to visualize the naked body of their young teacher.
Here I must be very clear and also mention legally reprehensible behavior. Indeed, some ethical rules seem to be disregarded in the Steiner-Waldorf schools, and there are cases of sexual and romantic relationships sometimes occurring between students and teachers. For example, when I was teaching, I witnessed in one of these schools an illicit relationship that had begun between a teacher and a student of the upper classes. They started dating when the student was in 10th grade (Third) and the situation continued until the 12th grade (First or Terminal). All class teachers of the high school knew about it, including some who were members of the board of the school. How could they ignore it, since this teacher and this student had come to live together in the same apartment? When this teacher left school after completing certification to teach elsewhere, all teachers of the upper classes — except one who probably wanted to be cautious, but who like the others who knew what had happened — came to a party in the apartment. Among themselves, teachers and students pretended to ignore or hide what was an open secret.
It is worth mentioning this at length because I am quite sure the issues raised at Kings Langley are intrinsic to the nature of Steiner education and not an example of extraordinary circumstances. The issues raised here will be present in many, if not all, Steiner Schools in the UK, including those opened recently by Michael Gove under the Free School programme. This would perhaps explain the school’s responses to the series of inspections and their failure to deal with the issues raised. The last report accused the school of failures to address these issues and of misleading parents.
The report says,
Leaders have failed to identify that the culture of close relationships at the school puts pupils at risk. Professional boundaries between staff, parents and pupils are not maintained. Staff, including senior leaders, do not follow the school’s own policies on social media access. Parents arrange for pupils to see their teachers, and former teachers, off the school site. This culture is unchanged, despite known serious safeguarding failings.
Leaders have underplayed and misrepresented the school’s safeguarding failings to parents. On more than one occasion, they have publicly stated that the failure is simply one of ‘record keeping’. They have also stated that ‘no transgressions or wrongdoings were found to have taken place’ and have implied that former parents who expressed concerns have misrepresented the position. These messages are not supported by the inspection evidence.
It is possible that Kings Langley and other Steiner Schools have got away with this for so long because of serious failings in the inspection regime. The Steiner movement successfully lobbied the government to have independent Steiner School inspected by a special body and not Ofsted. The School Inspection Service was set up to inspect these schools of a ‘special nature’. Their website says, “SIS professional inspectors are trained to conduct the inspection of Steiner Waldorf schools and understand their ethos and the special features of their curriculum”. Inspectors have intimate knowledge of Anthroposophy and Steiner Schools and may take for granted aspects of the schools that would be very abnormal outside. Steiner Schools have tended to get glowing reports. However, it would appear at Kings Langley that persistent complaints from ‘whistle-blowing’ parents have resulted in Ofsted stepping in.
The Government have known for many years about problems within the schools. One blog post on DCScience reports one disturbing incident of racist anthroposophical views leaking into the classroom. I reported on a meeting between Steiner School lobbyists (including Jacob Rees Mogg’s sister, Emma Craigie) and Michael Gove’s advisers on how to manage the PR problems that might arise if the racist doctrine of Rudolf Steiner was to make the news (notes here).
The School has stated that it is appealing the decision to close and while it does so will remain open. They had 28 days to submit an appeal and will have done so by now. The government will have another 28 days to respond before the case then goes to a tribunal hearing. In reality, this means that the School has at least until Christmas, and maybe longer with further appeals and negotiation with the DfE. To show that the school is committed to change, it is taking on a new headmaster, probably from another Steiner School, and appointing new trustees. All this change should have been done months ago after the first inspection failures and now looks like shutting the barn door a little too late. But the future of the Steiner movement in education in the UK is at stake here.
To this end, the school has appointed some very serious lawyers from the firm Mishcon de Reya. Their chief lawyer, Anthony Julius, is very high-profile and was Princess Diana’s divorce lawyer. He also successfully defended Deborah Lipstadt in the libel trial brought by holocaust-denier David Irving. This has now been turned into the film ‘Denial’ starring Rachel Weisz.
Hiring such lawyers will not be cheap. Indeed, it is amazing that the school in itself could afford to do so. Steiner Schools are run on a shoestring with private fees being typically much less than other private schools. However, the Steiner movement itself has lots of cash with many profitable businesses associated with Anthroposophy and Rudolf Steiner, such as Triodos Bank, Software AG and Weleda healthcare.
As well as the financial and legal threats to the school, it must also now face the reputational crisis of the threatened deregistration. In short, it must hang on to fee-paying pupils. Typically, in Steiner Schools, many parents will be wedded to the ethos and have nowhere else to go. There will be many parents though with a more peripheral engagement with the Anthroposophical movement and may well be thinking of contingencies to move their children. Furthermore, the school not only has a deregistration order against it, but is also barred from recruiting new students. Time will be ticking fast against the school if it cannot find new fee paying parents. It may also be hard to properly insure the school right now.
But this is a fight the Anthroposophical movement cannot afford to lose. The School has said to parents it is committed to delivering a full Steiner education. I would contend this is impossible if it wants to succeed in an appeal and pass future inspections. The failings in the inspections and due to the intrinsic nature of the Anthroposophical curriculum and belief system. There will be great tensions between the anthroposophical committed members of staff, the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship who oversee such schools, and those progressives in staff and parents who want the school to move on. This is a battle that always rages in Steiner education between those who simply want the school to be ‘inspired’ by Steiner and those who demand it adheres strictly to an Anthroposophical approach with all the occult and crypto-religious paraphernalia. So far, the Anthroposophist tend to win. You cannot be a Steiner School without Anthroposophy.
For more information on Anthroposophy and Steiner ediucation:
Ten Things You Should Know About Waldorf/Steiner Schools
It may be worth noting one dark irony of the school hiring Anthony Julius to represent them. Julius is well known for his activism and writing against anti-Semitism. Steiner Schools have been criticised for being based on Anthroposophy which carries with it inherently problematic ideas about race. Steiner viewed the schools as where children could properly incarnate into their new souls, progressing through each incarnation into more mature and developed Aryan souls.
The American academic, Peter Staudenmaier, has worked extensively on Steiner’s views on race, Jews and the interaction of Anthroposophists with the German Nazi state. Steiner’s view of Jews was complex and sometimes contradictory. He went through phases of clear anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, but briefly for a year or two, around 1900, appeared to reject anti-semitism and be more humanistic in his philosophy. It is during this brief enlightened phase that supporters of Steiner like to quote him to defend him, and then steadfastly ignore his more common and wider thoughts. Staudenmaier gives a much more balanced and nuanced view of Steiner and his views on anti-Semitism.
According to Steiner’s theory of racial karma, each soul works its way upward through a series of successively higher racial forms over the course of many incarnations. The goal of this process, which might be characterised as a variety of spiritual eugenics, is eventually to escape particular racial and ethnic attributes altogether and achieve a sort of absolute individuality, the “Universal Human”. The German people occupied a special place in this development, as pre-eminent representatives of the fully realised “I” or consummate individuality. The ancient Hebrews also had a crucial role to play in this unfolding drama of cosmic evolution: their “mission” was to prepare the way for Christ, the bearer of universal humanity. In Steiner’s racial theory, however, the Jewish mission-to serve as vehicle for the appearance of Christ in the physical realm-had been fulfilled two thousand years earlier, and ever since then there was simply no more reason for the Jews to exist.
Steiner developed his ideas around education whilst fully immersed in the esoteric ideas he had garnered from the likes of Helena Blavatsky and the Theosophists’ awful views around ‘root races’. Staudenmaier says, “The theosophical movement combined organisational and confessional pluralism with ideological racism and pointed antisemitism. While anyone of any race, nationality and creed was welcome to join the Theosophical Society, central theosophical texts displayed a persistent anti-Jewish bias. Indeed, Steiner’s education had the specific occult purpose of developing souls through the racial hierarchy, and that Anthroposophy was the way that the Aryan race would be preserved. Steiner saw skin colour and race as central to understanding a person’s spirituality,
One can only understand history and all of social life, including today’s social life, if one pays attention to people’s racial characteristics. And one can only understand all that is spiritual in the correct sense if one first examines how this spiritual element operates within people precisely through the color of their skin.
Steiner’s 1923 lecture “Color and the Races of Humankind”
Steiner’s anti-Semitism and racism was not the genocidal hatred of Hitler. But he saw the Jews were no longer required on the Earth. Anthroposophy was the way Jews could move onto better spiritual incarnations.
“Judaism as such has long outlived itself and no longer has a legitimate place in the modern life of peoples; the fact that it has nevertheless succeeded in maintaining itself is an aberration in world history the consequences of which had to follow.” — Rudolf Steiner, “Vom Wesen des Judentums”
This is the insidious religious motivation of Steiner Schools. It is the secret that is not made clear to parents and pupils. As Steiner himself said,
[W]e have to remember that an institution like the Independent Waldorf School with its anthroposophical character, has goals that, of course, coincide with anthroposophical desires. At the moment, though, if that connection were made official, people would break the Waldorf School’s neck.
No school inspection will pick up this central deceit of Steiner Schools. Ofsted does not have a check box to enquire into racial doctrines of the School’s founders or a remit to uncover the occult purposes of strange school activities like Eurythmy, art-work, peach-coloured walls, or Festival celebrations. Steiner Schools are well practiced in how to deceive inspectors, and they will not pick up the subtle indoctrination that the curriculum is designed to impart.
The Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley has been unlucky in that inspectors have picked up in aspects that they do check, even if the inspectors do not yet understand the intrinsic nature of these shortcomings and failures. This Steiner School can only now survive and continue with an Anthroposophical education through another failure of external inspection to understand the nature of Steiner-Waldorf education – and a large dose of luck. If the school is closed, then the future of all other Steiner Schools in the UK must be called in question.
Jeremy Smith was part of the cover up and then Trustee Andrea Bartlett Tisdale
WoW! It was 9 years ago that we went to OFSTED and the Dept of Education about this school – with all the evidence. What can we do to help make sure the appeal doesn’t work?
Send all info to the Department For Education. [email protected]
I will be quite shocked if the appeal goes their way, having read this years Ofsted report the safeguarding issue is still a problem for them, and they are begging for money too.
Hi Maura, can you please email me? I’m putting together an article on the school for the national press. [email protected] Many thanks, Matt
Speak to Sue Joan Peat who was Trustee Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/02/16/teachers-steiner-school-thought-appropriate-pupils-sit-teachers/
I have never read a more twisted and absolute rubbish report about Steiner schools. I feel very sorry for the pathetic soul that spent the time and effort writing this nonsense. Probably on the same media band wagon accusing all Muslims of being terrorists and Americans being Nazis. I hope you find peace in life to realise the majority of the world don’t listen to your hatred
Hello Brave Anonymous.
I would welcome any example from the above article that you can defend as being ‘absolute rubbish’. It would also be reasonable to state any vested interest you might have in the subject.
i just wrote a long comment and it deleted. andy lewis, you are a scum bag mate. and you know it. you clearly do not even have the ability to declare or recognise your own vested interests on this topic. ugh. yucky yucky yuck.
My condolences on your lost comment, tom. I expect it was a magnificently well thought out and argued critique of my post, was it not?
If it is twisted rubbish, why won’t they say exactly why Mr McCarthy was suspended twice, and then sacked, usually gross misconduct is an instant dismissel. Also if Tim Byford apologises for passed mistakes, why do they keep occouring over and over, according to Ofsted reports?
Tim Byford just joined in and tried to cover up the cover up. It has been shut down.
Geez, Tom. Now you have us all wondering about the long comment. Was it the same comment with a lot more “ugh yucky yucky yucks” or were additional actual words incorporated into it?
This is nanny state nonsense gone crazy, why don’t you sad twats leave people alone to make whatever choices they want, what does it matter to you? There are probably many things about the way you approach things that others may find abhorrent, but they don’t try and “stamp them out”, they just try to let you do your things, and you should let them do theirs, otherwise you are crossing over a line that is very hard to define. I hope you modern day Mary Whitehouses can take the stick out of your backside long enough to look in the mirror and ask where all of this is leading? You (clearly) know very little of this school system and it’s benefits, and the benefits of other school systems around the world, the little englander mentality needs to stop because the country is in a feeble state right now and it has zero power to regain it’s place on the world stage without forward thinking, not this daily mail close world view masquerading as being driven by logic.
German Chancellor Willy Brandt, who was chancellor in the (extremely) difficult period of 1969-74, and who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971, and who I think we can all agree is a more intelligent, logic driven and noteworthy mind than anyone who has ever contributed to this page as writer or commenter, said this of Waldorf / Steiner education:
“The advent of the Waldorf Schools was in my opinion the greatest contribution to world peace and understanding of the century .”
But, of course, why listen to him, when you can listen to some trumped up bureaucratic nightmare organisations ridiculous report? The problem stands, when we can no longer blame Brussels for the nightmare nanny state we’ve become, who will we blame? Will you take the blame for that, fair commenters?
Well that is an extraordinarily angry and incoherent comment.
I have two questions:
1) Can you find an original source for your Willy Brandt quote?
2) Do you think society should be concerned and take responsibility for the protection of children in schools by ensuring that there are robust procedures in place to ensure children are protected from harms, both physical and mental?
Those people suggesting that the DfE wants to close Kings Langley Steiner School because of some minor infringement or because of antipathy to non-mainstream schools, need to understand that the safeguarding breaches have been so serious in that school that the DfE have to close it DESPITE the government’s support for Steiner schools as part of their Free School policy. The safeguarding breaches include sexual incidents and drugs – that is not at all to imply these are directly the reasons the teacher was sacked for gross misconduct. However, they have happened at the school and are the subject of many serious complaints to the school from parents whose children have been badly affected. These complaints have not been dealt with by the school. A long with the safeguarding breaches themselves, it is this failure to deal with them and the school’s persistent attempts to cover them up eg telling parents safeguarding breaches were just about poor paperwork, that seems to have driven DfE to act. The families that have been directly affected by the catastrophic failures to protect their children in school, have not come forward to speak publicly, because they need to protect the identities of their children.
I had a teacher at that school who lined up all the boys in the gym and looked in to their shorts at their private parts. The same teacher, pulled down a boys pants and trousers and spanked him on the bare buttocks. He also hit another boy in the class on the back of his neck so hard the boy vomited. There was also another male teacher who threw a blackboard rubber and a boy, it missed hit some one else and split his head open. I believe the teachers at the school in question, have no self control, with the students and with them selves.
I. Went to The New school kings Langley And I. Could tell you a lot of worrying goings on.I. Too was hit very severely and should have Taken it further But timed were different then I. Was a boarder at Friars Wood and many a story can be told.Personally I. Would recommend a good state school,and learn well RSKL NOT Able to Teach to an understandable conclusion.I. Learnt faster and higher grades at alternative schools Sad day but for the best
Hi Joe, Can you email me regarding this please? I’m a journalist putting together an article for a national newspaper. [email protected] Thanks
Did you write this?https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/02/16/teachers-steiner-school-thought-appropriate-pupils-sit-teachers/
Quick question Andy, if you have any kids do you send them to a “bog standard” comprehensive in a rundown sink estate or are you two-faced like most socialists who want to deny choice to ordinary people.
Deary me. This is the PR initiative by the RSSKL that is now underway? To attack critics rather than address concerns?
They are addressing concerns as have put a whole new team and headteacher in place
Fleur they are addressing concerns after many ignored complaints by parents going back years, several failed ofsted inspections, being stopped from taking on new children and finally AFTER they are no longer registered to be a school. They are trying to address them by taking on a headteacher, which you will know is not the Steiner model.
New head has not really sorted anything out and is leaving. Many have failed before him. The place is not fit for children to be within a mile of it.
Quick questions for you Robin Banks. If you have kids do you send them to a school where they are subject to sexual assault and take class A drugs? That’s what we are talking about here. Personally my children went to our local comprehensive school and they were safe there.
Second question. What does paying nearly £10K a year and being selected through interview have to do with choice for most people.?
My children attend a Waldorf Steiner school. I certainly know that the professional boundaries in that school are robustly maintained and if I had any knowledge to the contrary I would equally robustly challenge it . There would be no hiding place for anyone who dared to take advantage of children there . The parents would not allow it and many are professionals with social influence and the knowledge to deal with such a thing . It simply does not happen because the staff are not like that and the parents are would never allow it .
Guess work , hypothesising about it being a cult environment and all the blah blah blad written in this article is not truely representative of the whole
Steiner movement .
Free thinking is a must for society.
You clearly exercise it in your media views.
So why condemned the very views you clearly had led yourselves .
I respect your right be foolish and misinformed. Respect my right to educate my children in the way I believe is in their best interests .
Those who damn Steiner maybe just had a bad experience . I did and mine was a state school that educated me poorly and left me languishing , until I found my own route to success.
Thanks is for your site .
It’s a valuable avenue to educate he alternative to your view.
Democracy ….. something you should learn about .!!!!
Would you care to name the wonderful Waldorf Steiner School that is free from the worries described on this blog? I’m sure everyone would rush to it – if it exists. It must be that mystery Waldorf school that resides in a parallel dimension because nobody seems to be able to identify it by name. Why is that? Is it because as soon as you identify the school, critics will find LOTS of problems and that complaints have been filed against it by parents who don’t see it the way you do?
People here don’t condemn Steiner schools for what they teach (which is racism cloaked in nonsense BTW) but for not being honest with parents about what they teach and why. No computers and technology – why? Children’s brain development science? Naw… it’s that pesky Ahriman who is the devil associated with technology that drives them to this view. But Waldorf claims “science” is their reason. Same with denying vaccinations.
The dishonesty is the problem and if you want to be “democratic” you need to start with honesty. Giving people false choices is not a democracy… in fact, the way Waldorf doe it, it’s the definition of fraud. If there’s a new type of Waldorf/Steiner school that has started telling the truth about their beliefs and why they influence children in their care, I’m not aware of it. Again, would you like to name this wonderful school so we can set it as the example for other Waldorf schools?
I am bemused by some of the comments here . All anyone needs to do is look at RSSKL’s own website. It has a video of the chair of trustees in which he says there need to be clearer boundaries. It also has a written statement which says:
• ‘While the School feels it provides a positive experience for children, there have been real and serious failings going back several years, in leadership and management, safeguarding and Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) provision, as highlighted in the course of the inspections. In particular, the School was found by Ofsted to have failed to always put the interests of the child first – this is unacceptable….
• In particular, the School wishes to apologise for any suggestion that may have been made in the past by school leaders or staff, publicly or privately, that families who had raised concerns about safeguarding and SEN provision were the cause of the difficulties the School has found itself in. The latter is wholly and entirely of its own making.’
King’s Langley Steiner School has had many professional parents with high social capital.
I have read the racist views of RS and as an ex pupil can tell you that there was never the remotest hint of racism at Kings Langley. We had lessons explaining the basics of Hinduism, Judaism and Bhuddism which helps ones understanding of other groups belief systems. That was pretty advanced for the 70s.
Many philosphers are flawed. That doesnt devalue their life’s work.
I do think the school had some issues with groping by two teachers that werent dealt with. I was told of it by two girls. They werent taken seriously as was common in the 70s.
I never heard any complaint about Robin Cook. I was in his class and the girls would have told me.
Regards Djivan Souren
Dear Gigo. You say well when you talk about choices. I did not choose to put my son in a religious school. I did not choose to enter an anthroposophic school. I chose a school that promoted contact with nature and respect. I chose to study that pedagogy to understand it, two years later all my spiritual beliefs had changed.
So talking about freedom of choice implies that families are well aware before entering, that waldorf schools belong to a religious spiritual movement, which has its own cult.
They must know that the whole pedagogy is based on spiritual visions of the founder of this movement.
This is the truth, and the disguise of these schools deceives many families in the world.
This is disgusting the way it’s written and twists the truth to fit a picture you are trying to portray.
You probably have no experience of Steiner schools, but think you hold a valid opinion of it!
I won’t waste my energy too much as no doubt it would fall on ignorant deaf ears. However I will say that I don’t believe any education system,healthcare system,or government for that matter ever gets it 100% right. Humans all make mistakes!
Life now in many ways is harder for children and adults. Despite us having access to so much advanced technology and a good quality of life. Heath and safely has gone to extreme measures and so has society being led to have a “fear factor” for many areas on living.
We live with so much anxiety, control, fear and anger that I think people lose sight of the big picture and the ability to be objective. People just want to have a “drama” to talk about but it doesn’t mean all is fact!
I note you have not given any examples of how I ‘twist the truth’. Are you sure it is nnot just uncomfortable reading?
I would also be very interested to understand how low you believe ‘health and safety’ standards should go for Steiner Schools. Do you think they should not uphold the same level of child protection available to other children?
No it does not twist the truth at all, they had safeguarding issues in the 1970’s and they still do at the present day. They failed this years Ofsted inspection AGAIN! I really wish these people would stop being in denial and except the truth, times have changed, Steiner education is out dated, victims won’t be ignored any more.
Please Fleur, read my post (last one). I know that there are people who enjoyed their time at RSSKL. There are those that didnt, and there are those who actually suffered. Objectivity lies in views gathered by an independent body and balanced with evidence which is then scrutinised, checked and held up for public scrutiny. The school clearly failed to assure children’s safety, to deal with Safeguarding concerns, and to deal with complaints about this. That’s all fact now. Having had the opportunity to deal with these things and do better, they didn’t do so.
So Fleur am I and hundreds of others lying then?
Eurythmy, artwork, peach coloured walls, celebrating festivals – all strange? Really???
Kings Langley Steiner School has clearly failed children in the worst ways it is possible to do so. Children being abused by some teachers and others covering up and supporting abuse for years and years. How long was this teacher Mr Denis McCarthy at the school?
There’s nothing to suggest from Ofsted or otherwise that children at King’s Langley Steiner School were abused by teachers.
Careful… there are children/adults coming forward. Do you know about JM, the PE coach? Are you willing to share with the list, Jo?
It says on RSSKL website public statement “…former teacher at the School, Mr Denis McCarthy. Mr McCarthy was dismissed in January 2017 for Gross Misconduct, following a series of concerns about safeguarding …”
No because it was covered up for years
I know about JM if it’s the same one
But there is plenty of former pupils that will tell you abuse took place, I witnessed it personally, just because it was a long time ago, makes no difference at all. Denis Mccarthy is a complete idiot, if he thought he could still visit children in their own home, and have them round his house, when he is no longer working at the school. Was he sacked? Well no, as usual, money was at the root of it, so the school management paid him off. It’s OK, it’s not their money, because they can ask the parents to pay for it in another way, just like they did when they knew they had no money for a tribunal. But Mccarthy was the tip of the iceberg, it’s been going on for years, the school has lied to parents and children, then expect everything to change with an apology. Apologies don’t work that way. The day that place closes I will be very happy. They should of stopped covering their arse, and started educating.
I don’t know anything about that. I make my point because people often forget that safeguarding in schools covers many issues, from the behaviour of children to other childrent to radicalisation. If there is evidence of abuse by teachers, I guess criminal charges will follow.
Denis McCarthy has been referred to the National College of Teaching and Leadership. He could be banned from teaching for life.
Well why are the school still supporting him in so many ways if he is guilty?
Don’t know how that could happen as the school paid him off
I remember an incident at the school in PE the boys weren’t allowed to wear pants under their shorts. A teacher lined them up in the gym and looked at their privates down the front of their shorts. I was there, I saw it with my own eyes.
That may be part of why the whole school is being shut down.
The new principal of Kings Langley Steiner school is getting out “as soon as possible”.
Anon – do you know what’s happening there? The school appears to be recruiting, including for a Principal: http://rsskl.org/vacancies/
So no sign of a closure.
The appeal will start on the 24th of July, it will last three days. They are covering their arses by recruiting new staff, I shouldn’t think they’ll be there long though. They have changed their legal teams so many times, even Princess Dianna’s solicitor has gone now. So the School spent all that money, wasted it in my opinion, then had the nerve to ask parents for more money, but still they fail the latest Ofsted inspection on safeguarding issues, how arrogant can you get. In one of the latest statements from the school, they will still be short of money, but they can afford to stay open until at least next year. Or is that when the government will finally get to close the place down. This particular school has always been know to blow smoke over the truth, so they may be bluffing before they finnaly have to put the May Pole away in the cupboard for good, and the Elves and Angels remain a figment of their imagination.
I’ve seen the latest video they put out about the begging bowl, it seems to me they are worried. So, even if they get the money they ask for, there is no guarantee that the school will remain open, and there is no guarantee that even though they call it a loan, that people would ever get their money back. I find it a bit worrying that they are asking for people to lend them money, for the schools own short sort sightedness. I was a pupil at this school in the 1970’s there was plenty of physical abuse from the teachers, one deffenately had paedophile tendencies, and I witnessed at least one teacher drag a poor little girl by her hair along a path because she didn’t want to go outside and play. My own class teacher wasn’t innocent either, if a patent decided to withdraw their child from the school, he would write to the parents begging them, not to take their child from the school because it would be such a shame because they were such an asset to the school. He would write another letter to the education authority and tell them the same child was asked to leave. Bullying was almost actively encouraged between the children, or at least the teachers witnessed it and did nothing. I’m so glad I left when I did. It seems nothing changed in that school.
Who was the teacher with paedophile tendancies?
I can’t possibly divulge at the moment, but it is all being looked into trust me on that one.
Were you in my class (Robin Cook’s class)
No I wasn`t in his class, he hadn`t started, when I was there, but there were plenty of others who bullied, encouraged bullying. Most of them have died now, I don`t remember any racism, but it doesn`t mean it never happened, but most of what I saw was swept under the carpet.
By the way, readers of this blog might be interested to read the latest Ofsted report, it doesn’t make good reading.
Victims have left the school and current parents have not been told how the management actively tried to cover up for the teacher that was sacked, and the management treated his victims to a second round of abusive behaviour. My friend and his children have been put through hell by Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley. The school is closing down now as they failed another Ofsted and can’t get insurance to cover them.
They have covered up stuff and got away with stuff for years, I for one would be very interested to know what exactly happened. They are very good at abusive behaviour, former students find it very difficult even from over fourth years ago. There are those who think the sacked teacher is innocent, but probably because that’s what he told them. Your friend and his family have my every sympathy, there are more and more people coming forward now. This school needs to get real, stop begging for money, and close.
i heard that the woman which deleted files is still in high position?!
i hope it all comes out in the end
Absolute rubbish article by an uneducated, unethical person who has no idea about anthroposophy or Steiner or anything spiritual in that matter. Well done for publicly showing your stupidity …
Now that this dreadful school is going to close in July, can anyone who knows anything about Dennis McCarthy, without it being hearsay, rumours, please come forward there are journalists from news papers who want it all to come out. I for one agree with them.
So he was Paid off, not sacked like the School would have us believe, what is he doing, going round people’s houses and having children round his house, when he doesn’t work for Seiner School any more. Is this man totally stupid. And what the hell are the school doing not telling anyone. Oh yeah safeguarding has never existed at kings Langley Steiner school
It shut down soon as it needs to!
Inspection is a good thing. How else can we assure children’s safety and an adequate standard of care and education?
The inspection was done in exactly the same way as all other schools are inspected and must follow an already established format. Any points raised, good or bad, are evidenced in the whole report. It’s of specific evidence such as statements or documents are kept by the inspectorate. The same type of approach that is used by the CQC (Care Quality Commission). The inspectors do not, and cannot just decide to give a particular institution a ‘hard time’. Each report is also sent initially as a draft to the institution that has been inspected for their feedback, which is undertaken by senior staff at that institution. The reportalso has to be signed off by senior members of the inspectorate, who particularly check that there is evidence for each point raised; negative or positive.
I urge people commenting on this to read all the reports, not just the latest one, or each summary if the report is too lengthy.
Having been both a student at this school, and done some work as a specialist advisor to an inspectorate (CQC) I feel quite well qualified to comment on this.
Finally, having been a student of this school in the late 70’s / early 80’s, I am pleased that it has been inspected, pleased that it has been held up against the standards expected of other schools, pleased that it was offered opportunities to reach the expected standards, and not surprised that it did not achieve those standards. The staff at RSSKL seem to have had trouble recognising and dealing with abuse for approximately 40 years.
I attended a Steiner school for a number of years. Never experienced anything like what has been mentioned here. Great teachers. Great education.
Well arn’t you just the lucky one, and your point is?
Some of us did, some of us will carry that crap round with us for the rest of our lives. There really is no need to be so arrogant about it.
Several questions have come up over the last few days. Why was Denis McCathy paid off after being, suspended twice then sacked, why was he still going into people’s houses after being suspended, why wasn’t he told he could no longer teach from his own home or anyone else’s after being suspended, or even just after the first complaint from a parent about Mr Mccarthy’s behaviour? Why did the school management not tell parents he was suspended and why did they take so long informing parents he was no longer at the school. Of course parents asked him to give extra lessons, if they didn’t know.
Kathy what do you mean by he was paid off? His comments in the recent Telegraph article suggest he took the school to an employment tribunal and won.
It was settled out of court, what ever he said, and what actually happened, will always be a thorn in the side of the Steiner School in Kings Langley, because he was the start of the beginning of the end. He makes out it was only one person who complained and had concerns about him, but it wasn’t. Abuse in one way or another, teachers over stepping the mark, this has been going on in that place for years. Anyway it is all being investigated, people are coming forward, when that place eventually does close, there is a lot more to come. That ‘s all I can say for now
They settled out of court
So glad that place is shut down now, pull the place down, bury it, may the ghosts of the past go with it so people who suffered the abuse and bullying and the misery, are able to get on with their lives. Save our school, our school is cool. Yeah right. IT WAS A CULT. Steiner is cult education, just that when you are brainwashed you don’t know you are being brainwashed, so if some one points that very fact to you, you will do anything to defend it. As wakens the seed to the darkness of cult.
“Other pupils alleged Mr McCarthy had displayed some level of inappropriate behaviour during his career, ranging from allowing them to massage his head to encouraging swear words in a lesson on religion. Both allegations were proved.” https://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/news/17483731.rudolf-steiner-teacher-dismissed-by-conduct-panel/
The shit bags at this school want to open again. Keep your children away! https://www.hemeltoday.co.uk/news/rudolf-steiner-school-announces-plans-to-re-open-just-weeks-after-confirming-it-would-close-1-8574440
They are keeping very quiet about it, that usually means things arn’t going their way
I don’t personally know this school, but I do know how a healty Waldorf school works, and I believe there is nothing better what you can provide your child then an education in which clear thoughts are well combined with a warm hart. This is that kind. Both my children attended Waldorf school and I although I understand the reasons behind still some times I was amazed how well the teachers could handle children. Again, without knowing this particular institution, I’d say if someone understand with what’s going on and why, can not say anything bad about it. I feel sorry if something went wrong here, it’s petty for a lot’s of kids!
Still no news about it staying open. Teachers handling children? That could be taken several ways.
So, they are wanting to open again next summer, says a woman who is a chair of trustees or what ever they call them selves. Was this the same woman who is a former student of the school, who actually ended up marrying a teacher from the same school. I’m sorry Ms Cook, but too much has gone on in that place as well you know it. Just one question, when exactly did you start your relationship with Mr Cook, was it before, or after you finished your education. When do you think Mr Cook started having feelings for you, was it before, or after you finished your education?
Here’s the latest, folks: https://www.hemeltoday.co.uk/news/rudolf-steiner-school-kings-langley-staff-and-parents-asking-for-cash-so-that-troubled-school-can-re-open-1-8774447
I went to the Kings Langley Steiner school up to 1979.
Talk about it being a cult, overfamiliarity, I just dont recognise. Its a school for people that like organic food and natural materials. There is some Christian content and there is an openness to the possibility that life has a spiritual dimension Eurythmy is a harmless type of dance that expresses music and words through gestures. Having a main class teacher is not a bad thing. He is your sponsor who has particular responsibility for your progress and wellbeing. I dont recognise comments about after hours socialising.
Afternoons you have normal curricula classes with the other teachers.
I remember asking for a book on anthroposophy but was told that they didnt offer that information because they did not want to indoctrinate.
In my time there was very little drugs, just very occasional marijuana and never on school.
I did hear talk from a couple of girls about some groping from one teacher. Probably fair to say that it was easier to get away with that sort of thing back then.
My experience was happy. Its not a hothouse for exam results but I came out with an appetite for knowlage, a love of Shakespear, poetry and ancient history, a knowlage of the major religions and philosophies and most importantly a realisation that we do not all have to be the same.
Sue Joan Peat was Trustee and head of the anthroposophical society and she must have helped to try and cover up for Denis McCarthy.
Carol Langley and Cathy Herrington were the safeguarding people at the time. Safeguarding Denis McCarthy but not the children.
Louise Sofaire protected McCarthy before they did.
As far as I can see, certain teachers have been very manipulative and controlling, others have just looked away or covered up for the manipulative, is it right that teachers marry former students, I think at is sick at any age, because no one actually knows at what age was the teacher attracted to the former student, there`s no way of telling, I find the quite worrying. We won`t know until Friday what`s going to become of Mr Mc Carthy, but if things don`t go his way, I think it`s only right that the authorities look again into what actually happened,
Denis McCarthy Teacher at Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley has been banned for life even just by the things that were reported by staff, parents and pupils. The school continually tried to protect the teacher by getting rid of people who reported him or gagging them.
They covered up for many teachers, most of the older teachers are dead now, and one lives in America. Rumour has it that Steiner School Kings Langley id selling of even more of it`s property I wonder why.
“Mr McCarthy denies this happened, and noted that the girl’s recollection of the preceding lesson involved drawing maps – something students would not do until the following school year.”
They do Geography in all Steiner Schools in class four and this teacher would have known that he had done map drawing in class four. Why is he lying?
Denis McCarthy added: “She apparently suffered no physical problems after it. She didn’t report it, didn’t tell anyone. That confirms to me that there’s no truth in this.”
This is very odd that he needs these reasons to tell him he did not assault a child.
But that’s what happens when some one suffers traumer, PTSD In the John Worboys case for example, women didn’t come forward for years.
“”Carole Connelly, an educational consultant who investigated the claims against the teacher, told the panel: “I think Mr McCarthy groomed a number of parents. He tried to establish that some of his behaviour was entirely normal. He put himself into such a position that no one would challenge him.” “file:///C:/Users/Mary-Jane/MJ/steiner%20school%20questions/Teachers%20accused%20of%20sexualised%20behaviour%20at%20Rudolf%20Steiner%20School%20_%20My%20Local%20News.html
“”Sue Peat, a trustee at the school from 2006 to 2016, said teachers felt “threatened” and “intimidated” by Mr McCarthy and were scared to raise the alarm. “”file:///C:/Users/Mary-Jane/MJ/steiner%20school%20questions/Teachers%20accused%20of%20sexualised%20behaviour%20at%20Rudolf%20Steiner%20School%20_%20My%20Local%20News.html
Carole Langley was a safeguarding officer who protected Denis McCarthy at the school with safeguarding officer Cathy Herrington.