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Inspection

Responding to the response from Ofsted and the Government to the report of the Coroner following the death of headteacher Ruth Perry, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers' Union, said:

“We welcome the response from Ofsted and the Government to the report of the Coroner following the death of Ruth Perry, but much more needs to be done to actively support the work of teachers and school leaders and to secure the welfare and wellbeing of those who, every day in our schools, work tirelessly and selflessly to secure the very best for the nation’s children.

“For too long teachers and headteachers have suffered under the tyranny of a flawed and egregious inspection and accountability regime.

“At a time when inspection is contributing to the deepening crisis in teacher morale, recruitment and retention, the new Chief Inspector must be prepared to grasp the need for real change, and further action from Government is also needed to halt the exodus of new and experienced teachers and headteachers from the profession.

“Better support for school leaders, better advice, counselling and wellbeing support are welcome, but the remedy must also include structural change, too, beginning with a pause on inspections to enable a full assessment of the workload and mental health impacts to be carried out in consultation with the profession.

“No credible system should be applauding schools where workload and working practices contribute to stress, burnout and poor health of headteachers, teachers and support staff.

“Abolishing the punishing use of single-word inspection judgements and requiring all inspection teams to be led by professionals who have recent and relevant direct experience of classroom practice is also needed.

“And, we need an independent process for dealing with complaints about inspection as part of a programme for rebuilding trust and confidence with the profession.

“The new Chief Inspector Martyn Oliver has had the courage to apologise. Now he and Ministers must demonstrate that they have the will to deliver the changes needed for the sake of our children, young people and their teachers.”

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