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Inspection

Responding to the coroner’s conclusion that an Ofsted inspection “likely contributed” to the death of headteacher Ruth Perry, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers' Union, said:

"Our sincerest condolences go to Ms Perry's family and the staff, pupils and parents of Caversham Primary School on their loss of a much loved and respected member of their community.

“The inquest has underlined the pressing need for reform of school inspection. In its current form, inspection simply isn’t working in the interests of supporting those working in our schools who are doing their utmost to provide the best opportunities for children and young people.

“The fact that many staff in schools do not feel able to challenge behaviour of inspectors that is intimidating and insensitive highlights a need for a properly independent complaints process and for greater accountability of Ofsted in the way they undertake inspection and over the judgements they make.

“The reality is that the Government could move immediately to build confidence by insisting on abandoning the current 'one word' grading system which has had such a damaging impact on the health and welfare of school leaders, teachers and support staff. This issue must now be reconsidered by the Secretary of State.

“The Government could also take immediate steps to address the high-stakes consequences of inspection by immediately ending the system of forced academisation and rebrokering of schools and academies under its current schools causing concern guidance.

“In light of today’s Coroner’s report, it should be anticipated and would be wholly understandable for calls on the Government to pause all inspections to intensify.

“The Secretary of State must now work urgently with the teaching profession to ensure that we can have an inspection and accountability system in which parents and the workforce in our schools can have trust and confidence.”

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