Coronavirus: Rotherham ex-head teacher receives tributes after death

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image captionJulie Mott was principal of Newman School, in Whiston, which caters for young people with special educational needs

Staff at a special school in Rotherham have paid tribute to its "dedicated and kind" former head teacher who died after contracting coronavirus.

Julie Mott was principal of Newman School, in Whiston, which caters for young people with special educational needs.

In a statement posted online, current head teacher Paul Silvester said she died on Saturday night from the virus.

He said staff described her as passionate, strong and determined.

Mr Silvester said: "The awful impact of this virus is being felt across the world and the heart-wrenching circumstances of each individual loss has been truly brought to the fore with the news about Julie's passing.

"Many staff, as this sad news has broken, shared stories of her kindness, determination, support, sense of humour and laughter that has been so warmly remembered."

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He said his predecessor had "worked incredibly long hours with a passion for our children and staff, she remained dedicated to them after her retirement".

"Our final thoughts though are with her strength and determination, it is these skills that drove Julie and her memory and her success will live long at Newman."

Friends, colleagues, parents and former pupils took to social media to pay their respects to the retired head teacher.

On the school's Facebook page, Sarah-Louise Davies wrote: "She always put the needs of the kids first. She'd laugh with them and cry for them. She'd go above and beyond."

"Covid-19 has stolen a good one there. Keep your loved-ones close."

One former pupil wrote: "She gave me a place at the school when I was 14 and I will be forever grateful for it. Thank you for all you did Mrs Mott."

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