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TEACHER KILLS HERSELF OVER OFSTED REPORT

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A senior infants school teacher killed herself after Ofsted inspectors criticised stndards at the school she had se...
A senior infants school teacher killed herself after Ofsted inspectors criticised stndards at the school she had served for 21 years, reported The Mail on Sunday (p43).

The body of Pamela Relf, 57, was found last week in a river at Little Paxton in Cambridgeshire. Her abandoned car, found nearby, contained a suicide note saying she could not take the stress of being a teacher any longer. Her family said the effect of the Ofsted report into Middlefield Primary School in Eynesbury, Cambridgeshire, appeared to have been the final straw.

Miss Relf's brother, David, a retired teacher, said: 'Pamela was depressed but Ofsted was one of the factors that pushed her over the edge. She said to me at the time that she found the week's inspection very stressful. She left a short note addressed to the coroner saying she couldn't cope with the pace of change and all the paper work. It was clearly linked to teaching'.

Although Miss Relf vanished before seeing the Ofsted report, she had been warned by her headmaster what to expect after the week-long inspection in November. She had been a popular teacher and was known for her quiet, gentle approach. She was due to retire in a few years' time.

Inspectors who visited the 247-pupils school did not mention her by name, but were critical of reading and writing among the four to seven-year-olds she taught, singling out handwriting, punctuation and the 'poor quality of marking, which does not indicate clearly how pupils can improve'. But her brother insisted the report was unduly harsh on the school and said the inspection system adds to the stress teachers suffer.
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