A headteacher took her own life after her school got downgraded following ‘unfounded’ claims based on a two-day inspection.
53-year-old Ruth Perry from Reading, England, was a principal at Caversham Primary School for more than a decade since 2010.
This January, however, the dedicated educator ended her life after her school was audited by Ofsted – the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills – and downgraded from Outstanding to Inadequate.
According to the reports, the inspectors decided on the move during the first day of their two-day inspection as they suggested the process of s*xualization of students took place at the school after seeing a boy perform the ‘floss’ dance – a popular dance move from the game called Fortnite.
Inspectors further made claims of the presence of child-on-child violence at the school after seeing two students get into a minor brawl while playing at the playground.
“Pupils know who to turn to if they have a worry or a problem, feeling confident that they will get the help they need. Relationships between staff and pupils are warm and supportive. Incidents of bullying are rare,” the report read.
“Leaders do not have the required knowledge to keep pupils safe from harm. They have not taken prompt and proper actions when pupils are at risk. They have not ensured that safeguarding is effective throughout the school.
“Governors have an ambitious vision for pupils and staff. However, they have not ensured that they fulfill their statutory safeguarding responsibilities. Until the inspection, they were unaware of significant weaknesses in the school’s arrangements to keep pupils safe.”
Ruth’s devastated sister Julia has since spoken out and said the educator was left a “shadow of her former self” following the inspection.
“I said ‘It can’t be that bad’ and she said ‘yes it is, it’s about as bad as it can be,’” she told BBC South.
She continued: “All during that process, every time I spoke to her she would talk about the countdown. I remember clearly one day her 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. I remember the very first time I saw her rather than just speaking on the phone a couple of days after the end of the Ofsted inspection, she was an absolute shadow of her former self.
“This one-word judgement is just destroying 32 years of her vocation, education was her vocation. 32 years summed up in one word, Inadequate. It just preyed on her mind until she couldn’t take it anymore.”
Unfortunately, Ruth ended her life just over a month before the report was officially released.
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