Best News Network

Ofsted has much to learn after the Ruth Perry inquest | Letters

As a former headteacher, I can’t read about Ruth Perry without being tearful (Ofsted inspection contributed to headteacher’s suicide, coroner rules, 7 December). To have your whole life’s work nurturing others swept away in one damning word of judgment is unspeakably cruel.

As an adviser now, I have realised two other unintended destructive consequences of the way Ofsted operates. First, several headteachers have confided that they will retire earlier to avoid another inspection – not because they are failing, but because they have little faith in the fairness of the judgment, do not want to live through the stress involved again, and know how damaging a fall in rating can be, even when it is from “outstanding” to “good”. So Ofsted is encouraging the loss of the experienced and successful leaders that it should be celebrating.

Second, Ofsted judgments set schools into competition with each other. When I started in education 40-plus years ago, schools in a town frequently worked collaboratively. The impact of an Ofsted grading creates a powerful disincentive for such collaboration. Particularly in the secondary sector, schools have become closer to rivals, the school with the higher Ofsted grading winning out in terms of recruitment of students, staff and funding. How perverse to run an inspection system in a way that damages the service being judged.
Name and address supplied

I am the chair of governors of a small rural school. We have a headteacher, two class teachers and the equivalent of two full-time teaching assistants. Attainment is good and our children consistently achieve above the national average.

We had an Ofsted inspection that finished on the day the coroner gave her verdict on the death of Ruth Perry, who killed herself after her school was downgraded from outstanding to inadequate.

I have watched the exhaustion and frustration on the faces of our staff. The Ofsted framework is clearly not fit for purpose when two inspectors, who were personable and polite, are sent into such a small school for two days, when the same number of inspectors would be sent into a school of 2,000, with more than 10 times the number of teachers, for the same time.

The net result was that staff were under constant surveillance for two days. As I left the school after the inspection, staff were talking of Perry and how they understood how she felt. Their feelings had nothing to do with the inspection itself, but the process they had been put through while trying to teach and keep the school day on track.
Name and address supplied

An old-school and long-retired inspectorate tutor gave me two invaluable pieces of advice. First, always do good as you go, and second, always leave the school in a better place when you leave. Both are possible, even in the most challenging situations, and in my experience are something that the vast majority of inspectors try to do.

The sad loss of Ruth Perry might have been avoided if the inspectors (and it is a team) had itemised the administrative failings in the initial meeting, and then (given that there had apparently been no safeguarding concerns) suggested that the school rectified them by lunchtime of the final inspection day, before making that all-important grading decision.
Dr Henry John Moreton
Former inspector and senior adviser, Ofsted

Stay connected with us on social media platform for instant update click here to join our  Twitter, & Facebook

We are now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TechiUpdate) and stay updated with the latest Technology headlines.

For all the latest Education News Click Here 

 For the latest news and updates, follow us on Google News

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! NewsAzi is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.