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News Articles About Schools’ Inspections in the UK

Education unions have called for Ofsted inspections to be paused in the wake of the death of a head teacher. Ruth Perry, head at Caversham Primary School in Reading, took her own life while waiting for the publication of a report that downgraded her school from outstanding to inadequate.

Stress caused by Ofsted inspections was cited in coroners’ reports on the deaths of 10 teachers over the past 25 years, the Observer can reveal.

The research, by charity the Hazards Campaign and the University of Leeds, will intensify what Ofsted has called the “outpouring of anger” in the sector over the death of Berkshire headteacher Ruth Perry, who killed herself in January. Her family have attributed her death to the inspectorate having downgraded her school.

School inspections in England and Wales should be abolished and headteachers should refuse to work as inspectors until “toxic” pressures on mental health have been resolved, a teachers’ union says.

The motion calls on the NEU to develop alternative methods of school assessment in England that are more “supportive and collaborative”.

School leaders in England say they are being driven out of the profession by Ofsted’s punishing inspection regime, blaming a culture of fear and high stress for damaging their health and careers.

Senior teachers who spoke to the Guardian reported harrowing cases of “overwhelming panic” affecting their physical and mental wellbeing, including headteachers who felt humiliated or were reduced to tears by inspectors, and cases of school leaders hospitalised during Ofsted visits.

Brockwood Park School

Brockwood Park

Bramdean, Alresford

Hampshire SO24 0LQ

United Kingdom

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