Headteacher hung herself after fears over Ofsted

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A HEADTEACHER found hanged at her primary school was concerned the school would lose its top inspection rating, an inquest yesterday heard.

Helen Mann, 43, was on her first day back at work after four weeks’ sick leave when she was discovered dead at her school in November last year.

The mother-of-two had been appointed head of Sytchampton Endowed First School, near Stourport on Severn, Worcestershire six months earlier.

Mrs Mann was concerned about the loss of the Ofsted rating, was also finding it difficult to deal with an unfair dismissal claim brought against the school by a part-time teacher and was anxious that her plans to transform the curriculum were not happening quickly enough.

The inquest at Worcestershire Coroner’s Court in Stourport heard that after being appointed in April last year Mrs Mann set about transforming the school.

Dr Stephanie Gait, chair of the school’s Governors, said: “She was very concerned about whenever our next Ofsted review would be.

“The school had been classified as ‘outstanding’ in its previous inspection and she was concerned that it wouldn’t be classified as ‘outstanding’ if they were to come in soon.

“That had been mentioned in at least one governors’ meeting and we all said that we understood this would be the case but not through any fault of her.”

Dr Gait said that when Mrs Mann was appointed, the school had been without a permanent headteacher for five terms following the retirement of the previous head.

She described Mrs Mann as “positive” and added: “A fellow governor described her as ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’.

“She was bringing enthusiasm to the job and to achieve what she wanted to see for the school. She was doing exactly what we hoped she would.”

Dr Gait said that Mrs Mann set a very ambitious plan for transforming the school.

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