One of Britain’s highest paid headteachers found dead at home — just weeks after being ousted from job

One of Britain’s highest paid headteachers has been found dead at home — just weeks after being ousted from his job.

Super head Garry Phillips left his £260,000-a-year role at City College Plymouth and died “tragically and unexpectedly” over the festive period.

The ex-squaddie was forced out following a no-confidence vote over job losses.

He also came under pressure from unions over £100,000 of bonuses he received while working there.

Mr Phillips joined City College Plymouth last year but resigned in November.

A former soldier and teacher, Mr Phillips had risen to become one of the most successful and highly paid education chiefs in the country.

The college paid tribute to a man who was “always keen to make a difference and to improve the world”.

A City College Plymouth spokesperson said: “It is with great sadness that we heard that Garry Phillips, former principal at City College Plymouth has tragically and unexpectedly passed away over the Christmas period.

“At the request of his family we delayed sharing this sad news until now. Garry’s family have asked that their grief and privacy is respected at this time.

“The funeral will be on Friday, 11 January and Penny Wycherley, the interim principal and a former colleague of Garry’s, will represent the College and his colleagues in Plymouth.

“Garry worked hard as principal at New College Telford and Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College and then briefly at City College Plymouth.

“He started his career as an apprentice and took on a series of challenges in colleges in the North West and Midlands. He was always keen to make a difference and to improve the world.”

Mr Phillips resigned in November following a vote of no confidence from staff, which came amid job losses at City College, a critical report from the Further Education Commissioner into his leadership at his former college and pressure from unions to repay £100,000 of bonuses he had received there.

Mr Phillips was a former apprentice who then joined the Army and later became a teacher, first in painting and decorating and then business.

He had masters degrees in business administration and education and worked in colleges in Wigan, Preston, Kendall, Cheshire, Burton, and Telford before becoming chief executive at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College in 2014.

Under his leadership the college rose from a grade four Ofsted report to a grade two and Mr Phillips was rewarded by becoming the fifth highest paid principal in the country, with a reported £260,000 salary.

Mr Phillips, who had two grown-up sons, also served on the Heathrow Skills Taskforce, chaired by Lord David Blunkett, and represented the Association of Colleges.

 

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