In the wake of Ruth Perry’s suicide, headteachers speak out about the stress and fear that Ofsted visits can cause
Senior teacher Rob Dyson* says his last Ofsted inspection remains a “trauma”. Drinking tea in the staff room of the academy in the north of England after the inspector left, having delivered the verdict that the school had plummeted from “outstanding” to “requires improvement”, he says everyone was “ashen faced”. Noticing that the deputy head had turned a “terrible colour” and looked unwell, Dyson ushered him into the toilets.
“He started having a heart attack right there in front of me,” Dyson recalls. “It was absolutely shocking.”
Dyson got home that evening, after his colleague had gone to hospital in an ambulance, and took the dog for a walk. “I stood on the riverbank and I was just looking at that river. I had this awful sense of injustice. Our school was warm and friendly; it was absolutely bubbling,” he says. “But I snapped out of it and came home.”
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