Ofsted inspection likely contributed to headteacher’s death, shocking inquiry reveals 

An inquest into headteacher Ruth Perry’s death has today concluded that an Ofsted inspection ‘likely contributed’ to her death. 

Ruth, 53, took her life earlier this year while waiting for an Ofsted report to be published. 

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “Firstly, our thoughts remain with Ruth’s family. This will have been a gruelling week and no verdict can heal the harm that has been caused by Ruth’s death. 

“The verdict is a clear and damning inditement of an approach to inspection that has done massive harm to school professionals.  

“We have heard in detail just how bad the impact of Ofsted inspection can be on school leaders’ mental health – something NAHT has been warning about for many for years. This tragedy never should have happened. 

“We now need urgent change. Ofsted has no choice but to seriously reflect and make changes to ensure a tragedy like this never happens again. 

“Ofsted and government have so far refused to take seriously the lessons that need to be learned from this case, or to listen properly to our warnings or the experiences of the school profession. They must now start working with us on the changes that need to be made.” 

In April, NAHT president Simon Kidwell called for the removal of Ofsted banners, logos and quotes on railings, school stationery and school websites. 

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