Head who denied Ofsted school entry after Ruth Perry's death praised for 'bringing about change'

Flora Cooper attempted to deny Ofsted inspectors entry to her school following the death of Ruth Perry Credit: Twitter/ITV Meridian

The headteacher of a Newbury primary school who attempted to refuse Ofsted inspectors entry to her school following the death of fellow head Ruth Perry has been praised for "bringing about change."

Flora Cooper, the executive headteacher of the John Rankin School in Newbury, announced on Monday that she planned to deny access to the education watchdog.

It comes after Ms Perry, former head of Caversham Primary took her own life in January after receiving a negative report from the education watchdog.

Ruth Perry's family described the watchdog’s report as “deeply harmful” in its “implied focus on one individual”.

The inspection at the John Rankin School took place on Monday, following talks between the school and Ofsted.

But Ms Cooper's decision has been praised by people working in the education sector and members of the public.

Ellen and Liz outside the gates to John Rankin School in Newbury, Berkshire on Tuesday morning Credit: ITV Meridian

Taking to Twitter on Saturday, she posted: "Thank you to those who have been checking on me."The things I have been through in my life have prepared me for any challenges that come my way."Nothing can knock me down. I'm calm, composed & shining my light as bright as I can!"

Thousands of people responded to her post with one user posting: "Well done on everything you have done! You have started the ball rolling for change."

While another said: "Remember that you are a major player in hopefully bringing about change. We all have your back."

A Twitter user from Scotland posted: "Your brave stance will hopefully help others, well done. We in Scotland watch with admiration."

A former headteacher added: "Keep going! For those of us who have been through OFSTED inspections welcome any changes that may come from this sad episode."

On Thursday (23 March) a petition with 45,000 signatures was delivered to the government calling for an overhaul of the inspection system.

But Ofsted confirmed that inspections would not stop following Ms Perry's death.

The Chief Inspector of the organisation Amanda Spielman described her death as "a tragedy", but said that she "doesn't believe that stopping or preventing inspections would be in children’s best interests."

She added: "As teachers, school leaders and inspectors, we all work together in the best interests of children - and I’m sure that principle will frame all discussions about the future of inspection."

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