A ‘super-head teacher’ has tragically been found dead, just weeks after he was forced out of his job.
Former principal of City College Plymouth Garry Phillips died unexpectedly over the festive period.
He was previously in charge of New College Telford and Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College, the Mirror reported.
The Plymouth college paid tribute to Mr Phillips, describing him as someone who was ‘always keen to make a difference and to improve the world’.
Mr Phillips had joined City College Plymouth on a £260,000 salary last year but resigned in November following a vote of no confidence.
After the vote from staff, which came amid job losses at City College, a critical report from the Further Education Commissioner into his leadership at a former college and pressure from unions to repay £100,000 of bonuses he had received there.
Following a career as a soldier and teacher, Mr Phillips rose to become one of the most successful and highest paid education chiefs in the country.
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.’
He had received master’s 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.
Mr Phillips was rewarded by becoming the fifth highest paid principal in the country, with a £260,000 salary.
He also served on the Heathrow Skills Taskforce, chaired by Lord David Blunkett, and represented the Association of Colleges.