Ofsted inspection to go ahead after threatened boycott over head teacher suicide

Flora Cooper, executive headteacher of the John Rankin Schools, announced plans to boycott Ofsted in support of Ms Perry. Credit: PA

An Ofsted inspection will go ahead at a school in Berkshire where the headteacher previously said she planned to refuse inspectors entry following the death of the Ruth Perry.

Flora Cooper, executive headteacher of the John Rankin Schools in Newbury announced plans to boycott an Ofsted inspection due for 21 March.

She tweeted on 20 March: “We have to do this! I’m taking the stand!”

It comes after Ms Perry, former head at Caversham Primary School in Reading, killed herself in January while waiting for an Ofsted report which gave her school the lowest possible rating, according to her family.

Ms Perry’s sister, Professor Julia Waters, said the education watchdog’s report was “deeply harmful” in its “implied focus on one individual”.

Hours after Ms Cooper called on people to support her at the school, the headteacher asked people not to come to her school.

Ruth Perry, former head at Caversham Primary School in Reading, killed herself in January while waiting for an Ofsted report. Credit: PA

A West Berkshire Council spokesperson said: “An Ofsted inspection at John Rankin School will now go ahead today following discussions between the parties involved yesterday afternoon.

“We understand that the inspection process can be a busy and stressful time for teachers, governors and school staff.

“As a council, we work closely with all of our schools to support them through the inspection process and address any individual concerns.”

Two former teachers stood in protest outside John Rankin Infant School on 21 March following the death of Ms Perry.

Liz, a former primary school teacher who was mentored by Ms Perry when the school went into special measures, said: “It is just unimaginable.

“There is not a day where I don’t think about Ruth and the loss not only obviously to her family but the entire teaching community.

“She didn’t just care and dedicate herself to her school and her pupils, she was also a huge support for schools in the Reading area and beyond.

“She was absolutely brilliant and the pressure and the stress that she was under was immense.”

Jelena, who has a child at John Rankin Junior School in Newbury, Berkshire, said she was backing headteacher Flora Cooper against “intensely cruel” Ofsted inspections.

The 53-year-old full-time mother said: “I just wanted to come out and show my support to Flora, who has bravely come forward."

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement