Primary headteacher took her own life after Ofsted downgraded school to ‘inadequate’

A “caring” primary school headteacher took her own life after learning that Ofsted planned to downgrade her school from Outstanding to Inadequate, her family has said.

Ruth Perry, 53, was principal at Caversham Primary School in Reading for 13 years.

She was left a “shadow of her former self” after an inspection in November which she described as the “worst day of her life”, her family told the BBC.

The inspection on November 15 and 16 last year was the school’s first during Ms Perry’s time as leader, after rules around monitoring of Outstanding schools were changed.

On the first day, Ms Perry was told her school would be dropped from the highest grade to the lowest, her family said.

The report, which is now published, found the school to be Good in every category except leadership and management, where it accused the school of poor record keeping and failings in employment checks which could have put children at risk.

This meant the rating for the whole school was dropped to Inadequate.

Ofsted told staff they had seen a boy doing a dance popular on social media and viewed this as evidence of the sexualisation of pupils, the BBC reported.

It is also alleged that inspectors told staff they had seen child-on-child abuse, but Ms Perry believed this was merely a playground scuffle.