Update on the appointment of a new Hub Director

Monday 7th October 2019

I am pleased to confirm the appointment of Carolyn Dickinson as AST’s new the south west Hub Director. A former secondary headteacher Carolyn is currently a serving HMI and leads inspections of primary and secondary schools across the London region. Before becoming a teacher, Carolyn worked for Whitbread plc first in Research and Development and then moved to Corporate Communications working in Sheffield and London. Having gained an MBA and managing a number of projects which focused on young people Carolyn decided to become a teacher and commenced a secondary PGCE in Business Education in September 2000. Carolyn will take up her appointment from January 2020.

Statement from Avanti Schools Trust in relation to exemptions to KS1 testing

Friday 27th September

As parents and staff are aware the three Steiner Academies in the SW (Bristol, Frome and Exeter) are in the process of transferring into Avanti Schools Trust (AST). Currently all three schools have an exemption written into their funding agreements which means that KS1 pupils are exempt from testing. At the date of transfer to Avanti, the three Steiner Academies will become part of AST and will therefore be bound by the clauses of the AST Master Funding Agreement, which does not hold this exemption. Avanti will not be making a case to the RSC/DfE for exemptions to be included as there is no compelling and exceptional reason to do so and, as is the case with all academy transfers, DfE’s expectation is that the current model funding agreements be used in full.

You are also aware that AST is planning a curriculum review across all three schools in the coming months. This review will focus on the content of the schools’ current curriculum models and their alignment with and to the principles that underpin AST as outlined in the Avanti Way document. We want to make clear at this stage that reviewing the requirement for KS 1 testing will not be part of the review. However, we will be asking the review team to look into best practice in AST schools and nationally regarding how these tests are sensitively administered in the future.

Consultation regarding the significant change proposals for the 3 Steiner academies in the SouthWest

Friday 27th September

Click here for further details including the admissions consultation information.

Statement in relation to the transfer of SW Steiner Academies to Avanti Schools Trust

6th September

The AST Board of Trustees, subject to formal agreement with the Department for Education, has agreed to become the ‘incoming trust’ for the three SW Steiner Academies (Bristol, Frome and Exeter).

I am pleased to report that the AST Board has decided to progress ahead with the transfer of the three SW schools into Avanti. We are excited to welcome these schools into the Avanti family in what will be no doubt be a challenging but rewarding endeavour to provide the best possible education for the pupils of these three schools.

The Chair of the AST Board, Professor Mike Younger

AST will now be working with the academy principals, AMC Chairs and board members, staff and pupils to ensure a smooth and seamless transfer later in the year.

Further information - South West Region Steiner Academies – sponsorship and Avanti Schools Trust

25th June 2019

Please find below a link to Avanti's website with further information.

On this page there is lots of information including Frequently Asked Questions and how to send comments online.


Transfer of our schools to the Avanti Schools Trust

7th June 2019

Dear Parents and Staff,

We are pleased to announce that all three Steiner Academies – Bristol, Exeter and Frome – will be transferred together to the Avanti Schools Trust. Please find enclosed a letter from Lisa Mannall, Regional Schools Commissioner, with details of the decision.

We are delighted that there is now a clear direction for the future of the schools, building on Avanti’s successful approach to school improvement, whilst working to combine the Steiner-Waldorf principles. .

The next phase will include an active consultation period with parents and staff, led by the Avanti team. We are sure that there are many questions, but hope that this decision allows us to begin the next phase, moving forward as a group of schools, together.

It is important to note that the School Improvement Plans each academy have been working towards, to respond to the Ofsted findings, remain in place, and will continue to be the focus for staff and teachers at all of the academies.

We are grateful to Avanti for their commitment to our schools and are clear that it offers a great opportunity for renewal; to continue to improve the quality of education for the children; and to carry forward the contemporary and authentic vision at the heart of our schools.


Joss Hayes, Principal, Steiner Academy Bristol

Paul Hougham, Acting Principal, Steiner Academy Exeter

Nikki Doughty, Acting Principal, Steiner Academy Frome