Headteacher plans to refuse Ofsted entry to school after Ruth Perry death
Written by First Choice Radio on 20 March 2023
A headteacher is planning to refuse Ofsted inspectors entry to her school after the death of fellow school leader Ruth Perry.
Ms Perry, who was head at Caversham Primary School in Reading, killed herself in January while waiting for an Ofsted report which gave her school the lowest possible rating, her family said.
Flora Cooper, executive headteacher of the John Rankin Schools in nearby Newbury, Berkshire, tweeted on Monday: “I’ve just had the call. I’ve refused entry.
“Doing this for everyone for our school staff everywhere!”
She called on people to support her at the school on Tuesday morning, when inspectors are due to arrive.
She said on Twitter: “We have to do this! I’m taking the stand!”
It comes after Julia Waters said her sister, Ms Perry, had experienced the “worst day of her life” when inspectors reviewed the school in November.
She told BBC South that the inspection destroyed 32 years of her vocation and “preyed on her mind until she couldn’t take it any more”.
The inspection report found the school to be good in every category apart from leadership and management, where it was judged to be inadequate.
A petition calling for an inquiry into the inspection of Caversham Primary School has more than 39,000 signatures.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: “We’ve seen that a headteacher has tweeted their intention to refuse entry to an Ofsted inspection team, and this shows very clearly the strength of feeling following the tragic death of Ms Perry.
“Many school and college leaders and their staff find inspections and Ofsted judgments very traumatic, and this is often damaging to their wellbeing.
“This case has brought matters to a head and something has to change. We will be discussing this with Ofsted as a matter of urgency.”
After Ms Perry’s death, Matthew Purves, Ofsted’s regional director for the South East, said: “We were deeply saddened by Ruth Perry’s tragic death.
“Our thoughts remain with Mrs Perry’s family, friends and everyone in the Caversham Primary School community.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub