Headteacher killed herself over negative Ofsted report, sister says

A Reading headteacher was reportedly counting down as she waited for a bad Ofsted report. Credit: Google and Brighter Futures For Children.

A headteacher killed herself while waiting for an Ofsted report which gave her school the lowest possible rating, her family have revealed.

Ruth Perry, 53, headteacher of Caversham Primary School in Reading, took her own life in January after being told the school was being downgraded from Outstanding to Inadequate.

Her sister, Julia Waters, said Ms Perry had experienced the “worst day of her life” after inspectors reviewed the school on November 15 and 16 last year.

Ms Waters said: “Ruth took her own life on January 8, all during that process every time I spoke to her, she would talk about the countdown."

Inspectors reportedly said a boy doing a flossing dance move, from the video game Fortnite, was evidence of the sexualisation of children at the school.

“I remember her clearly one day saying ‘52 days and counting’, every day she had this weight on her shoulders hanging over her and she wasn’t officially allowed to talk to her family," Ms Waters added.

Her sister said the Primary school headteacher had experienced the "worst day of her life" after an Ofsted inspection. Credit: Facebook

“The very first day I saw her a couple of days after the end of the Ofsted inspection she was an absolute shadow of her former self.”

"She said the inspection destroyed 32 years of her vocation and preyed on her mind until she couldn’t take it any more”.

The report found the school to be Good in every category, apart from leadership and management, where it was judged to be Inadequate, the lowest rating.

Inspectors said school leaders did not have the “required knowledge to keep pupils safe from harm”, did not take “prompt and proper actions” and had not ensured safeguarding was “effective”.

Caversham Primary School said in a letter in response to the report: “The school, led by Ruth, responded immediately after the inspection visit, to take action to resolve the issues raised.

“Following the heart-breaking loss of Ruth, we have continued her work to ensure that the school is an effective, safe and happy place for children to learn and achieve.”

Matthew Purves, Ofsted’s regional director for the South East, said: “We were deeply saddened by Ruth Perry’s tragic death."

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