A HEADTEACHER found dead at her Worcestershire school took an overdose of sleeping pills days before her death.

Mother-of-two Helen Mann was on sick leave when she phoned her husband Philip to tell him she’d “done something silly”.

The 43-year-old survived the scare but just over a fortnight later, on November 5 last year, was found dead at Sytchampton Endowed First School where she had been in charge for just seven months.

She had earlier told a counsellor she would never contemplate suicide because she “could not do it to her boys”.

Her inquest, in Stourport, heard from colleagues at the school who said she had taken on too much too soon and was troubled by a forthcoming employment tribunal.

Mr Mann told the hearing his wife had questioned why she had taken the job at the end of her first day.

“Helen came home after her first day and said 'why the hell did you let me take the job’?” he said.

“She just said it (the school) was in a mess with out-of-date books, strategies and systems.

“She was not impressed by the teaching staff.

“One day she went on a course and had to drive past the school. It was about 4pm and she noticed there were no cars in the car park. She was not used to that work ethic.”

He said the tribunal, which centred on the redundancy of supply teacher Angela Mercer, was “what we talked about most”.

“Helen took it as though it was her fault but it wasn’t,” he told the hearing.

Mr Mann said the family went on holiday to France during the summer break but added his wife did not come back refreshed.

“She took her laptop with her," he said. "I was fed up of telling her not to do school work.”

He said she began worrying about things that usually wouldn’t trouble her, citing one occasion when their sons, George and James, ran out of tomato sauce. “To her it was like a major thing,” he said.

He said his wife overdosed on sleeping pills, adding soon after she was keen to get back to work.

She returned on November 5 but was found dead by a member of staff later in the day.

The night before she died she asked her husband to hug her.

“We sat there for a couple of hours,” he said. “It didn’t click until a few days after how significant it was.”

Depuy county coroner Marguerite Elcock read out a statement from a counsellor who held three appointments with Mrs Mann.

“She told me she was kept awake worrying about work,” said Maria Winfield from the Worcester Therapy Group.

“She said she would never contemplate suicide because she could not do it to her boys.”

The headteacher was due to have another appointment with her four days after her death.

Mrs Elcock is due to record her verdict tomorrow morning.

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