Teaching unions urge Ofsted to pause inspections

·1-min read
Teaching unions urge Ofsted to pause inspections <i>(Image: Andrew Matthews / PA)</i>
Teaching unions urge Ofsted to pause inspections (Image: Andrew Matthews / PA)

Oftsed has been urged to pause inspections after headteacher Ruth Perry took her own life while awaiting an inadequate school report.

Three unions representing teachers and school leaders have spoken out following the tragedy.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said it is “important” that people listen to what Ms Perry’s family have to say regarding their determination that “something like this should never happen again”.

He added: “Whilst it should never take a tragedy like this to prompt action, this has to be a watershed moment.

“The anger and hurt being expressed currently by school staff is palpable. It is essential that all policymakers, including Ofsted, listen and respond.

“Given the strength of feeling and the need for a period of calm reflection, Ofsted should pause inspections this week.”

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), called it “the height of insensitivity” for Ofsted to inspect schools or colleges this week.

She said: “Ofsted should pause all its inspections and reflect upon the unmanageable and counter-productive stress they cause for school leaders, and the impact on leaders.”

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: “Ofsted should undertake an immediate review of the impact of inspections on the wellbeing of school and college leaders and staff, and a pause in the inspection cycle would allow for a period in which this could happen.”

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.”