Phil Gillespie was the deputy-head of Bessie Street School.
In October 2018, Phil attended a meeting with Brian Packham - who began suggesting ideas for the upcoming holiday club. One of Brian's ideas was to bring amputee Greg Kennedy in to talk to the students about living with a disability, as Brian hoped that this would help recent amputee Jack Webster feel more included. Phil agreed to Brian's ideas, provided that he took full control of running the club, to which Brian agreed.
The holiday club was a complete success due to Brian's efforts. However, when Sandra Bassett (a representative from the LEA) paid a visit, Phil took the credit for organising the event. Brian's partner Cathy Matthews was left furious by Phil's actions, but Brian informed her that he didn't care and his main focus was that the children enjoyed themselves.
By November, Phil put Brian to task working on the nativity - secretly plotting to take the credit once again. When Phil expelled Hope Stape from school for biting a teacher - Brian finally realised that Phil was attempting to take over from Melinda Calvert as the school's headmaster. Tyrone Dobbs and Fiz Stape complained to Brian about Hope being dropped from the school, as the pair had received no support or advice about what to do with Hope, and Brian decided to tackle Phil - pointing out that Hope's parents would go to the media.
Phil was left horrified, fearing that media coverage would be detrimental to his plans to take over as headmaster, and agreed to meet with Tyrone and Fiz. While Tyrone, Fiz and Brian celebrated in the Rovers Return Phil turned up and revealed that he had organised for Hope to attend a school specially equipped to deal with misbehaving children. Tyrone and Fiz were left upset as they thought Hope was being allowed back to school, once again Brian attempted to talk to Phil but he put his foot down and refused to let Hope back.
Over the next few weeks Phil began to purposefully demean every script that Brian created for the nativity, ordering him to complete several rewrites as well as prepare work for all of his classes. In December, Brian collapsed in the staff room due to exhaustion from many late nights working on the nativity. Instead of reducing Brian's work load, Phil began accusing Brian of struggling to cope and threatened him with losing his job.
List of appearances