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Weekly’s Ofsted splash voted top front page after close-fought battle

A campaigning splash published after a headteacher took her own life following an Ofsted report has been voted the best front page of 2023 by HTFP readers.

Reading Today took the decision to stop publishing Ofsted reports after the death of Ruth Perry, who took her own life while waiting for the publication of a report that downgraded her school from outstanding to inadequate.

The paper splashed on the issue with a call from Ms Perry’s family for schools to refuse inspectors entry until improvements to the watchdog were made.

It was voted the best front page of 2023 by our readers after a close-fought battle with the Inverness Courier’s splash on the Scottish government’s failure to dual the A9.
Reading Ofsted
Editor Phil Creighton told HTFP at the time: “The death of Ruth Perry has shocked us all. Pausing coverage of schools’ Ofsted reports, unless there is a compelling reason to do so, is not just a mark of respect, but a call for that essential review of Ofsted and how it operates.”

Reading Today garnered 46pc of the votes cast in our poll, just over 100 votes ahead of the Courier on 40pc.

The Courier’s campaign for A9 dualling was itself already an award-winner, having won the News Media Association’s ‘Making a Difference’ award held to mark Journalism Matters week in November.

For the first time in the history of the poll, the top three were all weekly titles, with third place going to the Midhurst and Petworth Observer for its coverage of a fire which devastated an historic hotel.

The Front Page of the Year vote, which has taken place every year since 2013, formed part of our Review of the Year series looking back at the last 12 months in regional journalism.

The full results can be seen below.

What was the best newspaper front page of 2023?

  • The Ofsted problem - Reading Today (46%, 959 Votes)
  • RIP SNP promise of dualling A9 by 2025 - Inverness Courier (40%, 839 Votes)
  • We Must Rebuild The Angel - Midhurst and Petworth Observer (3%, 62 Votes)
  • 'In my head and "'In my heart I know that the time is now" - The Press and Journal (2%, 40 Votes)
  • Bee Here Now - Manchester Evening News (2%, 40 Votes)
  • Is this what you meant by pooling and sharing? - The National (2%, 37 Votes)
  • Ukraine: A year of war in Europe - The Scotsman (2%, 34 Votes)
  • Perfect - Sunday Echo (1%, 30 Votes)
  • Betty Boothroyd 1929-2023 -The Yorkshire Post (1%, 29 Votes)
  • We Will Miss You - Edinburgh Evening News (1%, 23 Votes)
  • Crowning Glory - The Herald (1%, 17 Votes)
  • Spotted on the M6 - Lancashire Post (1%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,077

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