Strict Headteacher Who Banned Pupils From Wearing Lipstick And Fake Tan Hanged Himself After ‘worrying About Losing His Job’


A STRICT headteacher who banned pupils from wearing lipstick and fake tan hanged himself after worrying about losing his job, an inquest heard yesterday.

Dad-of-two Gary Vyse’s body was found at his three-bed semi-detached home in Rochester, Kent in February.

SWNS:South West News Service Gary Vyse, headteacher of the Hundred of Hoo Academy in Kent, was found dead at home aged 37 in February

Known for his no-nonsense approach to discipline, he hit headlines in 2016 after banning pupils from wearing make-up at the Hundred Of Hoo Academy in Kent – saying school wasn’t a “fashion parade.”

Yesterday Detective Sergeant Debra Cummings told the coroner on the day of his suicide Mr Vyse sent “messages of an emotional nature” to Ms Bartlett, described in the inquest as his girlfriend – but this was disputed by a family member at the inquest.

She told the hearing: “One of the messages stated he was feeling anxious and sad, was not enjoying his job and felt people wanted him to fail.”

He also told her he feared he was about to be suspended from work and was due to meet bosses at the trust over a possible disciplinary matter, the inquest heard.

Google Mr Vyse was headteacher of Hundred Of Hoo Academy in Rochester, Kent

In just three years, he became chief executive of six schools across Kent and was considered one of the most influential educational leaders in the area.

But he suffered a fall from grace two years ago after crashing his £45,000 BMW 428i while twice the drink-drive limit.

He was banned from the road for 18 months and ordered to pay £1,455. At the time, some parents called for him to stand down.

In response, he said “the moment of recklessness” had caused him great embarrassment.

But the inquest heard on February 12 his sister went to see him at home and found him hanged.

No suicide note was found but a number of his electrical items and papers were found on the table.

Packets of medication to treat depression were also found and his GP confirmed he had been feeling low.

The coroner asked the officer about the “tone” of the messages Mr Vyse sent Micaeka Bartlett prior to his death.

She said: “The overriding tone was that Mr Vyse was feeling fairly depressed, some of the messages were not clear but they were emotional.

He was worried about losing his job, an inquest heard, when he died

“In one he said the ‘world wanted him to fail’ and he was worried about being a ‘burden’.”

She added: “They gave the impression he was saying goodbye.”

Paying tribute to the 37-year-old earlier in the year, colleagues hailed him a “leading light” in the teaching community.

Michael Costello, chair of The Williamson Trust, said: “It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Gary Vyse.

“Mr Vyse passed away at home.

“We are all shocked and saddened by the loss of such a strong and influential leader.

“Gary was an extraordinary individual with a passion for education, and a real drive to do the best for the Trust, its staff and its students.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Gary’s family and friends.”

Councillor Andrew Mackness, of Medway Council, said: “I am deeply shocked and saddened.

“Gary had been a leading light in driving real improvement in education.

Ex-pupil Corrine Simmons said: “He was honestly one of the best mentors and teachers I ever had.”

One neighbour said at the time: “There was a lot of police there, plus there was a couple of women waiting outside the house.

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