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Murrayfield Primary School appoints interim head following sudden death of Amanda Phillips

PUBLISHED: 11:57 06 June 2017 | UPDATED: 08:20 08 June 2017

Headteacher Bill Holledge at Great Yarmouth Primary Academy in 2012. Picture: JAMES BASS

Headteacher Bill Holledge at Great Yarmouth Primary Academy in 2012. Picture: JAMES BASS

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

A book of condolences has also been opened at Murrayfield Primary School in Ipswich to allow pupils and staff to formally pay tribute to their former “inspirational” headteacher as they continue to come to terms with her loss.

Former Ipswich Academy principal Amanda Phillips, who died aged 62. Picture: SIMON PARKERFormer Ipswich Academy principal Amanda Phillips, who died aged 62. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Mrs Phillips, a former Ipswich Academy principal, died aged 62 while on holiday in France last week. She suffered serious head injuries after a fall.

Floral tributes have been left outside Murrayfield primary in Nacton Road, where she had been headteacher since January when the Paradigm Trust, a London-based multi-academy trust, took over the school.

Flowers and tributes to Amanda Phillips outside Murrayfield Primary School last week. 
Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFlowers and tributes to Amanda Phillips outside Murrayfield Primary School last week. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The school has been placed in special measures since September 2015.

Mrs Phillips, one of the country’s top ‘superheads’ credited with turning around Ipswich Academy, was also the chief executive of the Paradigm Trust. She was described by former education secretary Michael Gove as “inspirational”.

The Paradigm Trust has now moved to appoint Bill Holledge as the interim headteacher of Murrayfield primary.

The former headteacher led Great Yarmouth Primary Academy out of special measures between 2012 and 2014. Ofsted praised his “uncompromising” belief that all children can succeed and said he “galvanised staff” and set high expectations.

Mr Holledge has worked for the multi-academy trust as a leadership and management consultant since 2015.

The trust’s chairman, David Willis, said: “The directors of Paradigm Trust have decided that Bill Holledge will be in charge of Murrayfield Primary on an interim basis until further notice.

“Bill is an experienced primary headteacher with a strong track record of school improvement who has worked closely with Amanda for more than ten years.

“He has the full support of the Board. Bill will work closely with the existing senior team at Murrayfield, including experienced leaders from across Paradigm Trust.

“The Board is very aware that there is a need for stability and consistency at Murrayfield and is working to ensure that this is delivered.”

All messages from the books of condolences, which have been opened in all five of the trust’s schools, including Ipswich Academy, will be passed on to Mrs Phillips’ family. Email condolences@paradigmtrust.org to send your own message.

Mr Holledge is unavailable for interview for the foreseeable future, the trust said.

How Amanda Phillips set Ipswich Academy back on the right course.

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