Parents call for answers over missing headteacher

Gill Jackson
Gill Jackson

The former headteacher of a top Preston school has left her new job just months into the post.

Parents of pupils at Ripley St Thomas CE Academy in Lancaster were informed in a brief note that: "Mrs Gill Jackson no longer works at the Bay Learning Trust."

Liz Nicholls

Liz Nicholls

It added the former head Liz Nicholls, who was brought in during Mrs Jackson's sudden disappearance, will continue to run the school for now.

The note, from chairman of governors Jackie Garnett, added: " We wish Gill the best of luck with her future endeavours."

Parents were told by letter on January 20 that Mrs Jackson was absent from school and her predecessor was taking over the reins.

Mrs Nicholls is CEO of the Bay Learning Trust

But parents say they have been given no indication of why the new head, who was catapulted from her job at Archbishop Temple School in Preston, last Easter has now gone.

One parent, who did not wish to be named, said they felt they were being kept in the dark and added: "It’s just strange and we are being informed of nothing.

"If it was health, then there would have been a collection and flowers.

"If it was some form of misconduct, then there should be a fair hearing and minutes published. If it is criminal or some form of gross misconduct, then there should be a police investigation.

"What has she done, potentially whilst on site, that sees her removed immediately?

Requests by the Lancashire Post for more detail have not been answered and Lancaster branch of the The National Education Union, which represents teachers, said it was not in a position to comment.

Before Mrs Jackson left Archbishop Temple CE High in Preston in April 2019 to take on the role at Ripley


She had previously been deputy head at Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School.

Ripley became an academy in 2017 and the trust also operates Carnforth High School and Morecambe Bay Academy and Central Lancaster High School.

It is currently in talks to try to include Preston's Ashton Community Science College into the fold.


The Bay Learning Trust is a company limited by guarantee and is listed on Companies House.


JPIMedia has contacted the school directly, but staff did not wish to comment.