Head Teacher Ruth Glover
We are delighted to share the news that we have appointed Ruth Glover to the new post of Head Teacher. Despite strong competition, there was clear recognition that Ruth had the many varied skills, experiences and characteristics required for the role, including her passion as an educationalist and clear interest in Steiner teaching. Ruth will join the school early next year and comes to Bristol Steiner School after serving as Early Years and Childcare Service Lead in North Somerset. She has a BA degree with First Class Honours in Initial Teacher Education (Primary) from University of the West of England and has Qualified Teacher Status. She has been nationally assessed as an Advanced Skills Teacher by the Department for Education. She also has the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH).
A key role for Ruth as she takes up post is to take the school to ‘Outstanding’, making the Bristol Steiner School a centre of excellence and developing the school as Research and Development Centre for Steiner Education, nationally. We welcome Ruth’s experience and passion into our community and know she will make it an even stronger one.
Interim Headmaster James Wetz
James Wetz has worked for over 30 years in state education, 16 of these as a secondary school Headteacher at both St. Laurence School Bradford on Avon and Cotham School. He retired from the role of the Principal of Cotham School and the North Bristol Post 16 Centre in 2004. He also served as Director of Human Scale Education from 2011 -2014. James gained an MA (Hons) in History at Edinburgh going onto to study for his PGCE at the Institute of Education at London University. He has also has a Masters Degree in Education with distinction from Bristol University.
James has published numerous articles and TV programmes focussed on the widening gap between those who achieve in our schools and those who find it difficult to engage, including his report ‘Holding Children in Mind over Time’ (2006) and the 2008 ‘Dispatches’ Programme for Channel 4 titled ‘Children Left behind’. His book ‘Urban Village Schools – putting relationships at the heart of secondary school organisation and design’, was published by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in November 2009. In March 2010 he published a Perspective Report on Initial Teacher Training commissioned by CfBT (the Centre for British Teachers). ‘Relationships a springboard for Learning’ was published by Human Scale Education/National College for School Leadership in February 2011. His interests include tennis, hill walking, an allotment, and singing with the Bristol Phoenix Choir.
The Trustees have 4 key responsibilities;
- Establishing the Vision and Ethos of the School and a Values framework that informs policy and practice in the school
- Setting the Strategic Direction of the School
- Holding the School to account
- Overseeing the Financial Management of the school
There are currently 4 trustees with a range of skills and experience ranging from finance, organisational development, environmental research and Steiner Education. The Trustees are supported in their role by a paid professional clerk.
The Chair of Trustees, Daniel Black, can be contacted via the school office Tel: 0117 933 9990, email email@example.com or in writing to Bristol Steiner School, Redland Hill House, Redland Hill, Bristol, BS6 6UX.
Daniel Black was appointed Chair of Trustees in October 2017. He is a research consultant specialising in urban development decision-making, with a focus on environmental sustainability and human health. Having spent many years in a range of urban disciplines including transport, urban design, building construction and community engagement, he now leads research into decision-making that takes place upstream: governance, partnerships, corporate strategy, risk management. Daniel has been Non-Executive Director of his family’s multi-award winning development company, Clipper Estates, for over almost 15 years, which has provided valuable insight into institutional decision-making and the commercial realities of development process.
Since setting up as an independent consultant in 2012 he has won approaching £1m in research funding from InnovateUK, NERC and the Wellcome Trust and has been commissioned to assess the health and sustainability of three high profile super-major developments in Bristol: an urban extension of 5,700 units, a 12,000 stadium, and a mixed-use housing development. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University West of England, where he works closely with the World Health Organisation Centre for Healthy Urban Environments, and the University of Reading’s Henley Business School (Real Estate and Planning), and with multiple other universities, academics and consultants, particularly at the Universities of Bath and Bristol. Daniel is also on the Advisory Committee of Healthy-Polis, an international initiative of the Institute of Occupational Medicine, Public Health England, Duke Global Health Institute and the Australian National University. He is a panel member on the University of Birmingham’s ‘Liveable Cities’ research programme and was a core member of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership’s Place Group.
Michael Luxford has been a trustee at the school since 2015 and chair until early October 2017 and has a long history of involvement with Steiner education. He trained in Fine Art and was an art therapist in the NHS before joining the Steiner and Camphill Community Movements in 1971. This move began a long period of living in intentional communities in the UK, Ireland and Canada, supporting young people with special needs and challenging behaviour. Michael became a registered manager for adult social care. He developed an interest in social research and in Waldolf education and in the 1980/90’s was a trustee and chair of trustees at the York Steiner School. He has written and produced five books and many articles on social and educational issues and occasionally finds time to paint. Currently, he volunteers and coordinates the work in a medium sized organic/biodynamic vegetable garden on the outskirts of Bristol which helps to keep him sane.
Rachel Phillips attended Wynstones Steiner School as a pupil. Having completed a state teacher training she has worked all her adult life as a Steiner teacher both in the UK and in France and Hungary. She and her husband lived and worked in Hungary for 10 years as teachers and advisors to the Hungarian Steiner schools. Rachel is experienced both as a class teacher and as a subject teacher of music, French and English as a foreign language and handwork. Since retiring from full time teaching in 2015 Rachel has been a trustee at the Bristol Steiner School.
Anna Rajkumar first became interested in becoming a teacher while volunteering at a school in the Himalayas. This led her to take the foundation year of a Steiner Teacher Training course in Edinburgh before going on to the University of Cambridge to become a qualified teacher. Anna taught in a variety of state primary schools in the UK before taking up a role at a progressive international school in India where she worked in a number of roles including school administration, staff training and curriculum development. She has a deep commitment to the development of the whole child and believes this is one of the core strengths of the Steiner education movement. Anna now runs her own business advising international students who wish to study in the UK.
The Leadership and School Management Team
The School Management Team has responsibility for the day to day executive management of the school and reports directly to the Trustee Board. It is responsible for implementing both the School Improvement Plan and for monitoring the performance of the school. From September 2017 the School Management Team will be an experienced Head Teacher with overall responsibility for both the Kindergarten and the Primary School, the Business Manager, and a Senior Manager with responsibility for ensuring the quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment in line with Ofsted requirements as well as Safeguarding.
The College is a unique and critical element within every Steiner school. It is a voluntary group and meets weekly. At the Bristol Steiner School it holds in mind the spiritual and education needs of both teachers and pupils, with a strong commitment to a sense of community which infuses all that the school does. It provides a forum for all staff who wish to participate in which they can make a meaningful contribution to the life of the school community. It is not directly involved in operational decision making but is consulted on key developments of the school and is instrumental in ensuring the work of the School Management Team is effectively supported. It contributes thinking to develop the ethos which the Trustees can build on; it meets to develop a deeper understanding of the Steiner pedagogy and the school’s festivals; it provides opportunities for regular child study.
The Teachers’ meeting
The Teachers’ meeting is held weekly and is a contractual commitment for all teachers. It is chaired by the Head Teacher and the Senior Manager for Teaching, Learning and Assessment. It has responsibility for the effective delivery of the curriculum, for the quality of teaching and learning, and the assessment of progress and academic outcomes. It provides an opportunity for all teachers to come together every week to think about the way the children learn, to share best practice and to collaborate in the development of the curriculum, teaching approaches and resources. Within the Teachers meeting there are separate meetings for the Primary and Kindergarten sections of the school. This weekly meeting provides for a detailed review and assessment of the pupils’ learning and behaviour which can be taken into account and responded to.
Whole School Community Forum
This forum has three purposes. Firstly it is the one place where all those involved in the School can meet together – Trustees, Teaching and Support Staff and parent representatives drawn from the Kindergarten and Primary School. Secondly it will meet as an annual Strategy and Review Forum to advise on the School Development Plan. Thirdly it can provide a forum which can think through key decisions that the school may need to make and advise Trustees. The Forum is chaired by the Trustees on behalf of the school community.