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brilliant headteacher killed in accident while on weekend away with friends in france

Brilliant’ headteacher killed in ‘accident’ while on weekend away with friends in France

A “brilliant headteacher and “much-loved colleague” has died following a reported accident in France. Simon Gibbs was the principal at New Rickstones Academy in Witham, Essex, and the tragic accident was confirmed by the school. A letter was sent to parents and carers on Monday with staff at the school having been informed beforehand. It said it was believed Mr Gibbs was overseas in France with friends when there was an accident on Saturday evening. “I am very sorry to be writing with the tragic news Simon Gibbs, our principal, died over the weekend. From what we understand there was an accident on Saturday evening whilst Simon was away for the weekend with some friends in France,” wrote regional education director Johanna Thompson, with the letter having been shared widely on social media. “This is obviously devastating news and our immediate thoughts are with Simon’s family at this impossible time. Our staff have been informed today and we wanted to make sure you are aware so that you had the opportunity to speak to your child tonight. “Devastating news like this will take time for everyone to process and come to terms with and our priority is to make sure that students and staff have the support available to help us all through this time.” The letter added: “Simon was a much-loved colleague and a brilliant headteacher and we will miss him enormously. He will be remembered for his integrity and passion for teaching, as well as his dedication to the community of New Rickstones. As we come through the next days and weeks we will find the right way to remember him at New Rickstones and to celebrate his commitment to this community. Thank you for your support and understanding at this difficult time.” Local charity The Witham Hub also paid tribute describing Mr Gibbs as an “amazing, caring teacher”. It stated: “All at The Witham Hub are sad to hear of the passing of Mr Gibbs of New Rickstones Academy over the weekend. Mr Gibbs’ loss will be felt by many at the school as he was an amazing, caring teacher; we were proud to work with him at The Hub. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this truly devastating and heart-breaking time.” Tributes were also written online with one person on Facebook describing Mr Gibbs as a “fantastic teacher”. Another person said their girls were “gutted” as he was an “amazing teacher” who “cared so much about his pupils”. An FCDO Spokesperson told The Mirror: “We are supporting the family of a British man who has died in France, and we are in contact with the local authorities.”

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