Susan "Sue" Jeffers (née Mottershead) was the Head Teacher of Weatherfield Comprehensive when Ken Barlow was a teacher there during the 1990s. Sue was born in Weatherfield and grew up next door to Fred Elliott's family at 24 Ashchurch Grove.
In June 1990, Deirdre Barlow met Sue to discuss the effect on Tracy of Ken teaching at the school, as the Barlows were going through a divorce. Sue suggested that Deirdre take Tracy away for a few days, as term was nearly over and she'd finished her exams. Sue then expressed to Ken her disappointment over his handling of the situation and asked him to keep his personal problems away from the school.
Later that year, Sue arranged with Phil Jennings, via Deirdre, for PJ Leisure to sponsor the school football team and supply the new strips. Ken was against the sponsorship, ostensibly on professional grounds (Phil owned an amusement arcade which school children were skipping school to play in), but Sue quashed any firm opposition on his part by pointing out the conflict of interest due to Phil's relationship with Deirdre. When making a stand against the sponsorship, Ken had an ally in fellow teacher Fred Duffield, who found it typical of Sue's practices since joining the school.
In March 1991, Sue made Andy McDonald close down a book he was running and pay back the pupils who had put bets on, after being tipped off by Ken. When she inspected the book, Sue remarked that it was impressive but when Andy thanked her she replied cuttingly, "that was an observation not a compliment", and suggested he put his talents towards the school's schemes for helping the disadvantaged.
A year later, Sue saw A-Level pupil Paula Maxwell about her falling grades and advised her to study more, and in December she interviewed Derek Wilton for the position of deputy school caretaker. Derek was given the job although Sue felt he was overqualified. Derek had a hard time as he worked under Harry Potts, who was a known troublemaker but when he complained about him to Sue, he was asked to spy on Harry as Sue was hoping to find an excuse to sack him. Derek wrote a damning dossier on Harry's activities and handed it to Sue. Derek's satisfaction was short-lived as thanks to a glowing reference from Mrs. Jeffers, Harry got a job as caretaker at the Tech.
In February 1994, Sue suspended Derek when he fell asleep on the job, allowing the school to be broken into and £3,000 worth of equipment stolen.
When her husband left her for another woman in September 1996, Sue leaned on Ken for comfort and began seeing him in a new light. She arranged for them to go to a conference in Southport together. Ken had no romantic interest in Sue so when she got drunk and fell asleep in his hotel room, he slept in her room but then in the morning he discovered she'd slipped and knocked herself unconscious in his bathroom, and she had to be carried out and taken to hospital. The embarrassment over the debacle caused Sue to back down over Ken for a while.
A few months later, Sue was told by the Governors to look for redundancies at the school. Sue safeguarded Ken's job as she still fancied him and was jealously aware that Ken and Deirdre were on the verge of reconciling. After rowing with Deirdre, Ken had a drink with Sue and admitted he wished something had happened between them in Southport. A short time later, Deirdre let herself into the house, interrupting the pair in bed. Ken saw his evening of passion with Sue as a mistake but as he had burned his bridges with Deirdre, he gave a relationship with Sue a try although they agreed to keep it a secret because of the redundancies. Sue's professionalism was called into question a short time later when Jean Crabtree, wife of Ray - one of the teachers made redundant - complained to Alf Roberts that Sue had protected Ken as they were having an affair. While strictly speaking their affair had not started until after the redundancies were decided, Sue was still heavily criticised when the school governors found out and she immediately resigned, admitting full responsibility. Ken wasn't punished but lost his job anyway as more redundancies were announced later that year.