Inquest into death of headteacher Ruth Perry to conclude

Inquest into death of headteacher Ruth Perry to conclude

An inquest into the death of a headteacher who is thought to have killed herself following an Ofsted inspection is to conclude.

Ruth Perry’s family say she took her own life after a report from the watchdog downgraded her Caversham Primary School in Reading from its highest rating to its lowest over safeguarding concerns.

Her sister, Professor Julia Waters, previously said Ms Perry had experienced the “worst day of her life” after inspectors reviewed the school on November 15 and 16 last year.

After Mrs Perry’s death there were widespread calls for Ofsted to revamp its school ratings system, with headteachers leading the backlash.

An inquest, which has explored the impact of the inspection on Mrs Perry, will finish on Thursday, with senior coroner Heidi Connor due to deliver her findings at Berkshire Coroner’s Office.

Ofsted inspector Alan Derry, who led the inspection at the school, said Mrs Perry was “tearful” and kept saying “it’s not looking good is it?”.

Jonathan Perry, Mrs Perry’s husband, told the inquest his wife felt the Ofsted inspector was a “bully” with an “agenda”.

He said that she was concerned that failing on child safeguarding would be the end of her career.

Mrs Perry’s GP Dr Tom Back said the Ofsted inspection of her school contributed to her death.

An inspection report, published on Ofsted’s website in March, found Ms Perry’s school to be “good” in every category apart from leadership and management, where it was judged to be “inadequate”.

Inspectors said school leaders did not have the “required knowledge to keep pupils safe from harm”, did not take “prompt and proper actions” and had not ensured safeguarding was “effective”.

Ms Connor said Mrs Perry was found by police having hanged herself at an address in Reading on January 8 this year.

A statement from one of the officers said police found a diary belonging to Mrs Perry, with entries ranging from November 14 2022 to January 6.

For mental health support, contact the Samaritans on 116 123, email them at jo@samaritans.org, or visit samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

Scroll to Top