Parents, pupils and staff from a Sudbury school have been “rocked” by the news of their headteacher’s sudden death at the weekend.
Lesley Farrow, 47, head of Woodhall Community Primary School, died after a fall from a horse near her home on Saturday evening.
The news of her death was announced on the school’s website on Monday morning, which said a range of support had been put in place to help children.
Mrs Farrow had been in post at the school for nearly a year.
She had previously worked at the former All Saints Middle School in Sudbury, as well as Clements Community Primary School in Haverhill.
One mother said: “This news has rocked us all, to be honest. She was such a lovely teacher.”
Another mother, Tina Underwood added: “This is so awful, my son came home devastated today; she will be sadly missed.”
Mrs Farrow, a mother-of-two, was described as an outstanding teacher who inspired many children through her work.
Numerous tributes to her have been left on a Facebook page called Light a Candle for Lesley Farrow.
Sudbury mayor Jack Owen, a local authority governor at the school, said: “We are absolutely devastated. She was an extremely inspirational person.
“We are asking people to respect the wishes of her family that they should be left to grieve in private.”
Mrs Farrow lived in Bradfield Combust near Bury St Edmunds. An ambulance was called to the A1141, near her home, at 5.29pm on Saturday. She was taken to West Suffolk Hospital where she died.
Geoff Barton, headteacher at King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds who knew her well said: “I can’t describe how shocked I am by this news. I knew Lesley over many years; she was a brilliant teacher at my children’s school, Ixworth Middle, where she inspired so many young people, including my sons.
“I would then occasionally meet her and catch up on her career as a superb deputy and then headteacher.
“She died doing something she was passionate about, but the sense of loss is terrible, and we will all be thinking of her family at this difficult time.”
A spokesman for Clements Community Primary School in Haverhill, said: “We are very sad that our former headteacher died suddenly over the weekend. We are supporting our children and staff. She was an outstanding headteacher and led Clements School with conviction and respect for all.”
Other Facebook tributes came from Simon Traylen who said: “This is such a shame. She did so much for the school in such a short space of time, and had even better plans for the future.”
Erica Medcalf added: “She was lovely, I met her a few times as my niece attends this school. The children loved her.”
A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said a range of support measures had been put in place at Woodhall to help children and staff. He added the governing body had appointed Helen Arbon, deputy head, as the interim acting headteacher at Woodhall.