Devon

Plymouth head teacher found dead after no confidence vote

Gary Phillips Image copyright Penny Cross
Image caption Garry Phillips left City College last November after staff passed a vote of no confidence

A former head teacher took his own life after being "publicly undermined by his peers", an inquest heard.

Garry Phillips, 47, was found dead by his wife at their home in Plymouth, Devon, on 22 December.

He had recently resigned as head of City College Plymouth following a vote of no confidence by college staff.

His wife Pamela told the inquest at Plymouth Coroner's Court his roles caused him "considerable challenges" and he left feeling "undermined".

The hearing was told Mr Phillips died by hanging and Senior Coroner Ian Arrow concluded he had "sadly...taken his own life".

Staff passed the no confidence vote following a critical report into Mr Phillips' leadership at his former school, Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College.

Under Mr Phillips' leadership, the college went from a £5.7m surplus in 2015-16 to an £8m deficit in 2016-17.

The University and College Union (UCU) had also raised concerns over his £260,000 salary.

Image copyright Penny Cross
Image caption Mr Phillips' family said he "dedicated the majority of his career" to education

The court heard Mr Phillips had no history of mental illness and no note was left at the scene.

A post-mortem showed that he had no alcohol or drugs in his system.

More news and stories from across Devon and Cornwall.

In a statement outside court Mr Phillips' family said: "Garry was a wonderful and loving husband and we will forever hold him in our hearts.

"He was an exceptional principal at three colleges and dedicated the majority of his career to further education and helping thousands of students to achieve their career aspirations."

If you or someone you know has been affected by a mental health issue, help and support is available via BBC Action Line.

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