TRIBUTES have been paid to a headteacher who was found dead at a school near Droitwich Spa.

Helen Mann, the headteacher of Sytchampton Endowed First School, Sytchampton, is understood to have hanged herself in her office on November 5, after leading a teacher training day.

It is believed no pupils were in the school at the time.

Before moving to the school last Easter, Helen served as a deputy headteacher at Millfields First School, Bromsgrove, for four years.

She worked closely with the school’s headteacher Paul Gibbs, who said everyone at the school was deeply shocked and saddened by the news.

Mr Gibbs said: “She was an extremely hardworking, dedicated teacher who always had the children’s best interests at heart.

“We would like to send our heartfelt condolences to her family at this sad time.”

Educational psychologists, county council representatives and governors visited Sytchampton Endowed First after the incident offering advice on how to talk to bereaved children.

A local headteacher, who has asked not to be named, has also been supporting the school’s leadership team.

The school reopened last Thursday - the county council’s head of learning and achievement John Edwards explaining that this is done so support can be provided to those that need it, while offering a structure of normality.

Counsellors also visited Millfields First, offering support to devastated friends and former colleagues.

Tributes have flooded in for Mrs Mann, who leaves two young sons, aged 10 and 13, and her husband Philip, 48.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “School leaders perform a demanding and vital role in the communities they serve.

“As a result, when a tragedy like this takes place, we know that the loss will be felt keenly.”

And readers of the Advertiser and of our sister paper the Worcester News, have left their tributes on Facebook and our websites.

Anna Megdiche Branton said the news was “tragic”, adding her two children went to the “lovely school”, while Kitty Butler Blucher simply described it as “gut wrenching”.

Lisa Richards said: “Such a tragic end to such a young life – thoughts go out to her family and the pupils and staff at the school.”

Steven Taylor summed up his feelings with: “Very sad, thoughts are with the family.”