Ofsted changes: What reforms will be made to school inspections after death of headteacher Ruth Perry

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Ofsted have proposed a number of changes after the death of headteacher Ruth Perry

Ofsted have announced a number of reforms following the death of headteacher Ruth Perry earlier this year. But the changes have been criticised by unions and Ms Perry's family, who say they don't go far enough.

Chief inspector Amanda Spielman said Ofsted are listening to concerns raised following the death of the head from Caversham Primary School in Reading. She took her own life after her school was downgraded by the inspectorate.

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Her sister, Professor Julia Waters has said the changes are "a start" but do not "adequately address the many problems that the system creates". Sky News is reporting that the reforms do not remove single word judgements.

The changes include the launch of a formal consultation on changes to the complaints system, aimed at resolving them more quickly. They also include:

  • While schools will also be given more information about the timing of their inspections, inspection teams will still turn up with only a day's notice, but there will be "more clarity" about the year schools could be inspected.
  • Reports will also refer to the school, rather than individuals, when discussing areas of weakness from September onwards.
  • Schools graded inadequate overall only due to ineffective safeguarding will see inspectors return within three months of an inspection report being published. This is currently quicker than has previously been the case. If the school has been able to resolve the safeguarding concerns it is likely to see its overall grade improve.
  • Schools will also be given more clarity about the threshold for effective versus ineffective safeguarding from September.
  • A programme to provide well-being help for teachers will be expanded by March 2024.

Gillian Keegan, Secretary of State for Education said: "Ofsted is central to this government’s success in raising school standards, and it is right it continues to evolve. We must ensure our school leaders have the support they need, which is why today we are significantly expanding our wellbeing support.

"This expansion will help make sure head teachers have access to support whenever they need it. Taken together, today’s announcements are a really important step. I have committed to continuing our work on improving the way we inspect our schools with Ofsted and the family of Ruth Perry following her tragic death."

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