This week

Mourning a broken education system



Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness 



The Wednesday Whisper 



When a Headteacher takes her own life after being ‘judged’ by Ofsted

Every now and again I speak out about the education system in my blog. The last time was June 2022 (

I rarely get any replies and I often feel the loneliness of trying to talk about something that no one wants to engage in. And, while it’s tempting to just focus on where we are making a difference in other places like prisons and families, I want feel satisfied that I said out loud and did everything I could to name the very real problems that the education system propagates and remains ignorant to which contribute to very real problems in society.

For clarity I am talking about the system not the individuals and certainly not those on the front line. Those on the front line come in every shade of wonderful and not so wonderful which is a representation of life, the issue is the collusion at senior levels that props up a system that is inhuman and where there is not even a crack for some light of humanness to break through.

Therefore, it is completely shocking to me that Headteacher, Ruth Perry, took her own life after Ofsted decided to downgrade her school to Inadequate. I want you to be shocked too. I want you to be shocked for the following reasons…

  1. Ruth Perry, described the day of the Ofsted Inspection as the worst day of her life.
  2. During the countdown to her judgement which she knew was coming, she was officially not allowed to talk to her family
  3. A 32 year vocational career was summed up in one word – Inadequate – a public shaming and humiliation no one deserves.

And I want you to be as shocked as I am because shaming, judging, blaming, reducing, bullying and grading by those in authority is the default position of our society. In fact many people have completely normalised this inhumanity. Ruth Perry let us all know that we cannot continue to treat people like this.

How can an Ofsted inspection be the worst day of someone’s life? Surely the process of quality assurance needs to be a compassionate, loving process of dialogue, understanding and supported improvement.

This snapshot on a random day is so easily manipulated. I have talked about this before. Mysteriously sending the ‘bad’ kids on a school trip on the day of an inspection or preventing some children from taking certain exams so as to keep the pass average up or persuading parents into ‘managed moves’ are all ways the system can be manipulated. How do I know this? I’ve been going into schools since 2001 and listening to the students.

And just to confirm my knowledge of these matters, I was Chair of a Pupil Referral Unit and I underwent an Ofsted inspection. Luckily, my rootedness in nonviolence and independence from the education system (I was a volunteer outside of the system) meant that I could detach myself from the circus and witness the absurdity of someone who had no knowledge of my dedication to the students judging me for not being able to recite something out of a handbook. I saw it as a joke. Sadly, Ruth Perry a dedicated educator in a 32 year career was demolished by a judgement made by, in my opinion, unqualified people (take that any way you choose), instead of being appreciated, thanked and acknowledged for her dedication.


Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness 

The DRM always brings light. In the mainstream state education system, our work consistently brings heart based communication to staff and students. But we want to make a difference in the whole system.


The Wednesday Whisper

Have you normalised a heartless top down system anywhere in your life? Is that how you want to live?




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