We’ll ‘take action’ to support heads, says Keegan after Perry family meeting

But no further details of the government's plan have been released

But no further details of the government's plan have been released

The education secretary has said the government will “take action to offer further support” to school leaders following the death of Ruth Perry.

The headteacher’s family say she took her own life in January before the publication of an inspection report that downgraded Caversham Primary School from ‘outstanding’ to ‘inadequate’. They blame pressure from the Ofsted process for her death.

Gillian Keegan today met with Perry’s family for the second time. In a statement following the meeting she said it was “important that we have meaningful conversations about the wellbeing of school leaders, and we will take action to offer further support”.

No further details have yet been provided on what action government will take, though.

Keegan also said she was working to “improve the accountability system” including inspection, so it “continues to raise standards while commanding the confidence of school leaders”.

Ministers had already announced in April that Ofsted was “reviewing” its approach to inspecting safeguarding and giving schools more advance warning about inspections.

‘Some changes will take longer’

Today, Keegan said “some of the changes will be immediate, some will take longer”.

“School accountability, including inspection, has a vital role to play in our education system. For the sake of children, teachers, school leaders and parents, it’s essential we get these changes right.”

Professor Julia Waters, Perry’s sister, said she was “pleased that the education secretary has shown willingness to listen to the clear concerns of many people about the wellbeing of school leaders, and to consider urgent actions to reform school inspection to prioritise the wellbeing of teachers and school leaders, as well as of pupils and parents”.

Samaritans are available 365 days a year. You can reach them on free call number 116 123, email them at jo@samaritans.org or visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.

Charity Education Support runs a confidential helpline for education staff and teachers – call 08000 562 561. 

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