ASCL calls for pause to Ofsted inspections following death of Ruth Perry

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the death of headteacher Ruth Perry following an Ofsted inspection.
We join with our colleagues in the NAHT and NEU in calling on Ofsted to pause inspections following the death of headteacher Ruth Perry. 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. The inspectorate must also commit to giving urgent consideration to reform of the inspection system to make it fairer and less punitive. In particular, it must look at replacing the current system of graded judgements which reduce everything that a school or college does to a single blunt descriptor. These judgements do not do justice to schools and colleges, and negative outcomes are devastating to leaders, staff and communities.