Steiner School rescue bid hits milestone

HOPES are rising that Bristol’s only holistic, human-scale school can be saved.

Supporters of Bristol Steiner School say £210,000 has been donated to their cause, supplemented by £770,000 in loans.

This means that the school, which went into administration in December after experiencing financial difficulties, is optimistic it will be able to continue in the next academic year.

The administrators of Bristol Steiner School and Kindergarten, in Redland Hill, have confirmed they are working with the board of trustees and the parent group at the school on proposals to move the school out of administration and to reverse the planned closure in July.

They have praised the rescue plan put together by families and the wider community, stating: “We are, in principle, impressed with the proposition that could give the school a viable future.”

Lindsay Berresford, chair of the parent, teacher and friends association (PTFA), said they had received a heartening display of community support and dedication that had enabled them to come up with sustainable future plans for the school.

She explained: “For over 50 years the Bristol Steiner School has been a beacon for parents seeking a human scale school where childhood is valued and in which a lifelong love of learning may grow. When the school was put into administration, parents and staff decided to fight back and over 40 people began work on a rescue bid.

“The rescue group has diligently crafted a comprehensive business plan aimed at revitalising the school’s financial health. This plan is designed to transition the institution from a loss-making entity to a sustainable, break-even position, with aspirations to ultimately thrive and celebrate another 50 years of educational excellence.”

The plans for the private school, whose pupils range in age from three to 12, include the implementation of a new sliding fee scale. Parents are being encouraged to register pupils for September, subject to the rescue plans being successful.

Pupils at the school do not wear uniform, have no examinations or tests and enjoy a curriculum including art, music, dance, movement, woodwork, knitting and sewing, craft, forest school, gardening and Spanish.
The school follows the philosophy of founder Rudolph Steiner, which believes in “child-centred, relational approach to learning” and a commitment to promoting the development of the whole child.
Its motto is “Education is a journey not a race”.

One parent told how the school had helped her child: “My child spent a year and a half at a small Church of England school. Reception class was OK but problems started in Year 1. Every single pick-up was really stressful for me and for him because he was always very frustrated and almost in tears, small things make him cry, I couldn’t find a connection with him.

“We knew we have to find alternative school for him. We searched and we found BSS. We moved from Southampton to give him the best start in life. It was the best decision ever, he is super happy now, after 2 weeks at BBS he said he doesn’t like break times because he is really enjoying learning. “

Lindsay said: “Their testimonial underscores the profound positive impact of the school, where children thrive in an environment that nurtures creativity, wellbeing, and individual growth.”