Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, and Paul Whiteman, General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, today issued the following joint statement following last week’s inquest into the death of headteacher Ruth Perry and the coroner’s conclusions.
“We are calling for an immediate pause to Ofsted inspections to allow time for meaningful action to be taken to address the concerns raised by the coroner in the inquest into the death of Ruth Perry.
“The coroner set out seven areas of concern for her Regulation 28 Report to prevent future deaths. It is important that we have clarity from Ofsted about a plan and timetable to address each area before further inspections take place. This is vital in reassuring schools and colleges that appropriate steps are being taken to protect and support the welfare of education staff.
“Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman issued a statement last week outlining some steps in response to the coroner’s concerns including a delay to inspections of a single day to bring together lead school inspectors. We do not think this goes nearly far enough. We will be writing to Education Secretary Gillian Keegan and the Chief Inspector formally requesting an immediate pause to inspections to give space for proper consideration. This is necessary for schools and colleges to have even a modicum of confidence in the inspectorate.
“We have also spoken about our concerns to the incoming Chief Inspector, Sir Martyn Oliver, who begins his term of office in January, and we have arranged for a formal meeting with him as soon as he takes up his post.”