In light of the inquest into Ruth Perry’s tragic death, Ofsted has announced that school inspections will not resume until mid-January to allow them to respond to the corner’s concerns and carry out mental health awareness training for inspectors.
Martyn Oliver, Ofsted’s His Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI), stated that his immediate priority is to focus on the response to the coroner’s inquest into the tragic death of Ruth Perry. The HMCI also said that “along with immediate training on mental health awareness, one of the first things I want to do is listen – to parents, to professionals in the sectors we work with, and to people with an interest in our work. We are here for children, their parents and carers – and we will serve them best by working constructively, respectfully and empathetically with the experts who are responsible for their education and care. Our people come from these sectors. We understand the pressures they are under – and we will make that clear as we go about our work”.
Emma Balchin, NGAs co-chief executive, said:
"NGA’s research on the current Education Inspection Framework (EIF) and school inspection practice has highlighted how the anticipation and experience of inspection can often be incredibly stressful for governing boards, school and trust leaders and staff. Since the implementation of the EIF, we have regularly heard from those governing about the negative impact inspection has had on leaders and staff, irrespective of the final judgement.
In the aftermath of the inquiry into the tragic death of Ruth Perry, NGA welcomes the decision to pause Ofsted inspections. This break allows inspectors to undergo training on safeguarding mental health and well-being during inspections, recognising the critical need for a more compassionate approach. NGA is committed to fostering ongoing dialogues with Ofsted on this vital issue and stands ready to support, highlight and share the voices of the governors and trustees we hear from. Together, let's work towards a more empathetic and supportive inspection process for the well-being of all involved."