Ofsted inspection contributed to headteacher’s suicide, coroner rules | Education #Ofsted #inspection #contributed #headteachers #suicide #coroner #rules #Education

A headteacher killed herself this year after an Ofsted inspection of her school downgraded it from “outstanding” to “inadequate”, a coroner has concluded.

Heidi Connor, the Reading coroner, found Perry’s suicide was “contributed to by an Ofsted inspection carried out between 15 and 16 November 2022” and that “during and after this inspection Ruth’s mental health deteriorated significantly” before her suicide on 8 January 2023.

Perry’s family made headlines when they publicly linked Ofsted’s inspection regime to her death, saying it had placed her under intolerable pressure. It led to a national debate calling for an overhaul of the way schools in England are inspected.

The headteacher’s colleagues and the medical professionals she consulted told the inquest they believed the inspection had played a significant role in her decision to kill herself.

Perry had been the head of Caversham primary school in Reading for 13 years when the inspection took place, and she was popular with local families. Colleagues and family members said the meetings with Ofsted inspectors left her tearful and distressed, and unable to speak at times.

The inspection report, published on Ofsted’s website in March, found Caversham primary to be good in every category apart from leadership and management, which was judged inadequate. The school was reinspected in June and its overall grading was raised to good.

In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org or jo@samaritans.ie. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.

#Ofsted #inspection #contributed #headteachers #suicide #coroner #rules #Education

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