Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Ofsted: a case of official negligence?

Ruth Perry took her own life on 8 January 2023. She was the headteacher of Caversham Primary School in Reading, England, and, six weeks earlier, her school had been inspected by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted). The previous assessment, which had graded the school as “outstanding,” was downgraded to “Inadequate,” 1 and Perry’s family believes that the associated stress led to her suicide.2 Whenever events at someone’s work seem to be linked to their suicide, it is reasonable to expect that everyone involved will want to find out what happened and how a similar event can be prevented from happening again. Yet, even though the link between adverse working conditions and suicide is well established, regulations requiring reporting of work related deaths to the Health and Safety Executive in Great Britain specifically exclude suicides.3 This is different from many other countries.4 In France, for…

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