In your article on Wynstones Steiner School (“Wynstones closure – Michael Mansfield QC represents parents in Ofsted challenge”, May 20), you quote Ofsted as saying that their Wynstones inspection report “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.”

This is the kind of thing we have come to expect from Ofsted. Technically correct and at the same time grossly misleading. The trustees certainly decided to close the school. I have seen the letter to the school from the DfE. It says, and I quote “URGENT - Wynstones School – Immediate Closure Required” and it continues, quite artlessly, to ask for the school’s cooperation - "otherwise immediate action will be taken to de-register the school and trustees who operate a school which is not registered are liable to unlimited fines and imprisonment". I imagine that the school’s solicitors would have advised the trustees to accept. They would have been mad not to.

But the parents who have been harmed by this forced closure have no such obligation to accept this state of affairs, and I fully understand their outrage and their desire to challenge the closure of the school of their choice, since apparently over 90 per cent of them were happy with the school, with 90 per cent being a higher percentage than the national average.

Ofsted is a public body, and this kind of deceptive statement which is effortlessly and routinely given out to the press these days by such bodies erodes public trust in government. Ofsted’s byline is ‘raising standards and improving lives’. Not impressed!


Jonathan Swann