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Saturday 22 June, 2024
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Who was Ruth Perry?

BY Anas Shah Mar 21, 2023. 08:25 pm UPDATED: Mar 21, 2023. 08:25 pm

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Ruth Perry, the head teacher of a primary school, passed away in January 2023, prompting demands that Ofsted be changed.

Despite being excellent in every category but leadership and management, the government-backed inspectors gave Ms. Perry’s school the lowest possible rating. This is what we do know.

Who was Ruth Perry?

Caversham Primary School in Reading, Berkshire, was led by Ruth Perry.

She started in the position in 2010 and served in it for 13 years.

On January 8, 2023, while awaiting an Ofsted report, she committed suicide.

The school was rated as good in all categories except leadership and management, where it was rated as inadequate.

Additionally, it implied that staff members’ employment background checks may have been incomplete, potentially endangering the safety of children.

In response, a petition calling for a modification to the inspection process for schools has received thousands of signatures.

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Doctor Julia Waters, Perry’s sister, criticised the report, claiming it was to blame for Perry’s suicide.

She said on behalf of the family: “In our opinion, the findings of Ofsted were disproportionate, unfair and, as has tragically been proven, deeply harmful in their focus on one individual.”

“We are in no doubt that Ruth’s death was a direct result of the pressure put on her by the process and outcome of an Ofsted inspection at her school,” the statement continued to describe the impact it had on Perry.

“We do not for an instant recognise Ofsted’s ‘inadequate’ judgement as a true reflection of Ruth’s exemplary leadership or of the wonderful school she led.”

Only 140 of the 359 schools that had previously received an outstanding rating from Ofsted still did so in September 2022.

Five of these schools were downgraded from outstanding, the highest rating possible, to inadequate, the lowest rating possible.

Over 100,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org started by Rona Matters, a freelance school business officer, calling for changes to the school inspection process.

The petition is addressed to Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector for Ofsted, and Gillian Keegan, the secretary of state for education.

It requests a review of how Ofsted inspects schools and how the reports are written.

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