The headteacher plans to refuse Ofsted inspectors entry to her school following the death of fellow school leader Ruth Berry, and has vowed she is “taking a stand” for “school staff everywhere”.
Ms Berry, a mother of two, committed suicide in January, a month after the watchdog downgraded Caversham Primary School, in Reading, from excellent to inadequate.
“Just got the call,” Flora Cooper, CEO of John Rankin Schools in nearby Newbury, Berkshire, tweeted today. I refused entry. Do this for all of our school staff everywhere! “
And she called on people to support her at school tomorrow, when the inspectors were due to arrive.
It comes after Perry’s family said they had the worst day of their lives during an Ofsted inspection.
Mother-of-two Ruth Berry (pictured) killed herself in January, a month after the watchdog downgraded Caversham Primary School, in Reading, from a terrific experience – an experience she described as the worst day of her life
Flora Cooper, chief executive of John Rankin Schools in nearby Newbury, said she would reject Ofsted
She announced this on Twitter and called on other schools to support her
Professor Julia Waters, Ms Berry’s sister, is campaigning for reform of the “punitive” watchdog, claiming: “Ruth killed herself over this Ofsted report.”
She previously told MailOnline: ‘This one-word ruling destroys 32 years of her career, and education has been her profession. Thirty-two years summed up in one word, “inconvenient.”
It only took hold of her mind until she could no longer take it. It was a huge loss, she was my little sister and she was only 53, she still had so much to give, so much more she could do.
The headmaster had an unusual relationship with the school, as he was a pupil there. She returned in 2006 as Deputy Principal, and was promoted to Principal in 2010.
Ms Berry’s sister said there was a sense of “complete injustice” about the process behind the search and report.
The inspection report found the school to be good in every category except for leadership and management, where it was judged inadequate.
A petition calling for an investigation into the inspection of Caversham Primary School has more than 39,000 signatures.
Ms Berry has been a Principal at Caversham for 12 years, always working long hours, and her family wants to change the way schools are examined and graded.
The primary school had been rated ‘Outstanding’ from 2009 until 15th November, when three Ofsted inspectors arrived.
Julia says her sister (pictured together) “was such a huge loss” and “she still has so much to offer”
It was the first inspection of Caversham Primary School in 13 years, those previously highly rated have been exempted.
It was Caversham’s first check in 13 years in which those previously highly rated had been excused.
Amanda Spellman, Chief Inspector of Ofsted, has inspected outstanding schools, demoting several of them.
Ms Berry alleged that inspectors told senior staff they had seen a boy floss – a popular dance move with tens of millions of children around the world thanks to social media – evidence of ‘pupil sexualization’ at the school.
Geoff Barton, ASCL General Secretary, said: ‘We have seen a Headteacher have tweeted their intention to refuse entry to an Ofsted inspection team, and this shows very clearly the strength of the follow-up sentiment. The tragic death of Mrs. Berry.
Many school and college leaders and their staff find inspections and Ofsted rulings very distressing, and this is often detrimental to their well-being.
This issue has brought things to a head and something has to change. We will be discussing this with Ofsted as a matter of urgency.
Following Berry’s death, Matthew Purvis, Ofsted’s Regional Director for the South East, said: ‘We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Ruth Berry.
“Our thoughts remain with Ms. Berry’s family and friends and everyone in the Caversham Primary School community.”
MailOnline has approached Ofsted to respond to the planned protest.
For confidential support, call Samaritans at 116123 or visit your local Samaritans chapter, see www.samaritans.org for details
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