Tagged: Steiner staffing issues

Handing over the baton in Bristol

The outgoing Principal of Steiner Academy Bristol has been in post since 2013, when she was appointed as Principal Designate. She leaves after a recent unfavourable Ofsted report.

By her own account it has been a traumatic few years for Angela Browne.

In her coaching blog she recounts tears at work, a feeling that she neglected her family because of her job, and the stress caused by dealing with multiple staff resignations at the academy.

On twitter she expresses anger at the funding levels in education and a dissatisfaction with the education system in general.

It would be easy to assume from all this that we know the reasons for her decision to leave the job at the Steiner Academy, but things are not that simple; from September, Angela is taking up a post as Interim Principal at the Castle School in Thornbury, a large academy for 11 -18 year olds. This implies that it can’t be family commitments, the stress of running an academy, or the wish to change direction in her career.

The difficulty of working in a system where the promotion and implementation of anthroposophy is the priority seems to have taken its toll. Angie is not heading off to another Steiner school. The coaching she offers is not Steiner coaching. She does not praise or even mention Steiner methods on her blog.

Her replacement will be Joss Hayes, who does not appear to have any Steiner experience and has resigned from two new Academies since 2015.

She resigned from the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy (IPACA) in March, and before that from Route 39 Academy in North Devon.

  • The Ofsted judgement on Route 39 Academy in 2015 was  “requires improvement”.
  • IPACA was judged inadequate in every category in 2016.

According to  a press report Ms Hayes was the founding principal of Academy 39 and has over 20 years teaching experience.

Steiner Academy Bristol recently made the announcement.  The “read more” button leads nowhere.

After a rigorous process, we are very pleased to welcome Joss Hayes to Steiner Academy Bristol as our new Principal.

When they advertised the role they said

“We are looking for applicants with strong leadership and management capabilities from across the Steiner and alternative education sector. We would like to hear from candidates with a deep working knowledge of the Steiner curriculum and/or with demonstrable experience in holistic, progressive and innovative learning styles”.

Steiner Academy Bristol says that “Angie and Joss will be working closely together over the coming weeks as Angie hands over the baton”.

In the past Steiner academies have filled vacant management roles by importing a Principal from one of their existing schools. At this point they seem to have run out of suitable candidates with the inside knowledge to perform the difficult task of trying to make the  Steiner methods required by the SWSF match the standards of a state funded school. Steiner education promises so much, but sadly often fails to deliver even “good” standards.

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