Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)
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Ofsted responds to Prevention of Future Deaths report

Ofsted has pledged to always act with professionalism, courtesy, empathy and respect, in a response to a Prevention of Future Deaths report issued by HM Coroner last month.

  • Ofsted has today responded in full to a Prevention of Future Deaths report issued by HM Coroner ahead of school and further education inspections being notified next week.
  • Response includes a new policy on pausing an inspection.
  • A comprehensive listening exercise – the Big Listen – will include an independent learning review of Ofsted’s response to the tragic death of Ruth Perry.

Read ‘Prevention of Future Deaths report (Regulation 28): Ofsted’s response’.

Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, Sir Martyn Oliver, has today published Ofsted’s formal response, addressing each of the recommendations set out by the Coroner following the inquest into the death of headteacher Ruth Perry.

The letter sets out what action has been taken before and immediately after the inquest as well as what Ofsted proposes to do next, including:

  • all inspectors trained to recognise and respond to signs of distress in school leaders
  • a clear and simple process for providers who have concerns about an inspection to speak to an unconnected senior Ofsted employee
  • a new policy on pausing an inspection
  • an expert reference group, including external representation, to look at leader and staff wellbeing
  • appointing an independent expert to lead a learning review of Ofsted’s response to the tragic death of Ruth Perry

Sir Martyn will also conduct a comprehensive listening exercise, the Big Listen, across all the sectors that Ofsted works in.

The Big Listen will be an opportunity to hear directly from parents, leaders and professionals about Ofsted’s current approach, the changes being made, and whether more can be done to protect children, raise standards, and improve lives.

Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, Sir Martyn Oliver, said:

As a fellow headteacher, I was shocked and saddened by the death of Ruth Perry. As the new Chief Inspector, I am determined to do everything in my power to prevent such tragedies in the future. We accept the Coroner’s findings and have responded to the recommendations of her report in full.

We must carry out our role in a way that is sensitive to the pressures faced by leaders and staff, without losing our focus on children and learners. Our critical work helps make sure that children and learners have the highest quality of education, training and care. We cannot afford to shy away from difficult decisions and challenging conversations where they are needed in the interests of children. I am determined that we get this delicate balance right.

We know we still need to do more, and we will do more. Nothing is off the table, as we hold our Big Listen. I know how important it is for the sectors we work with, and for parents and carers, to trust the judgements Ofsted makes. To achieve that aim, we must go about our vital work with professionalism, courtesy, empathy and respect.

Note to Editors

  • Routine school and further education inspections will be notified from 22 January, following mental health awareness training for all schools and further education lead inspectors
  • Lead inspectors will talk through the changes announced today with providers during inspection notification calls next week

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Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofsted

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ofsted-responds-to-prevention-of-future-deaths-report

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