Tributes to 'unique and charismatic' headteacher Neil who died aged 59

PUBLISHED: 17:00 26 September 2017

Neil Tuttiett with members of the school PTA at the opening of a new computer suite last year.

Neil Tuttiett with members of the school PTA at the opening of a new computer suite last year.

Archant

A 'much-loved' headteacher whose 'personality shone through like a bright light' to children has died.

Neil Tuttiett, of St Andrew’s Primary School in Congresbury, died at the age of 59 on September 10 after a short illness.

A school letter sent to parents at the start of term revealed ‘inspirational’ Mr Tuttiett’s was ‘seriously ill with two brain tumours’, and he spent his final hours at home with family, including his wife Lucinda.

Friends and colleagues have rushed to pay tribute to ‘down-to-earth’ Mr Tuttiett, described in a school statement as a ‘warm people person who always put others first’.

Mr Tuttiett successfully oversaw the merger of St Andrew’s Junior School and Glebe infant school in 2009 after joining the former in 2005.

Prior to spending more than a decade at St Andrew’s, Mr Tuttiett worked as headteacher at Sandford Primary School.

St Andrew’s will be closed on Monday, when Mr Tuttiett’s funeral takes place, as a mark of respect. After a private ceremony, St Andrew’s Church, in Station Road, will host a memorial service at 2pm.

St Andrew’s also plans to create a sensory garden in memory of the ‘keen gardener’.

Former deputy headteacher Yvonne Greenwood said it had been an ‘enormous privilege to work alongside a very wise and experienced man’.

She said: “He was enormously proud of the school’s achievements, which were only possible due to his outstanding leadership and dedication to the school.”

Jo Beavan, business manager at St Andrew’s, said: “Neil was a much-loved headteacher whose engaging personality shone through like a bright light to our staff, children and community.

“He was a protector of our children and worked tirelessly to ensure St Andrew’s was a safe, happy place for all children.”

Chairman of governors Andy Pring described Mr Tuttiett as ‘an inspiration’ and said his work will ‘help every child flourish’.

Fran Martin has been installed as acting headteacher, with support from local education leader Kevin Lynch.

Mr Lynch described Mr Tuttiett as ‘a unique and charismatic’ leader, adding: “Offers of support since his death have been completely overwhelming, which is testament to the standing of Neil in this community.”

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