HEARTFELT tributes are being made to a respected and popular teacher from Robert Blake Science College who died last week.

ICT teacher Ian Snell died suddenly during school hours on January 7 and the school has now opened a book of condolence in his memory.

Head teacher Rob Gammon said in a statement: “It is with sadness and regret that I have to inform you of the untimely death of a member of staff on January 7.

“He was a long-standing member of staff and well-respected by students and colleagues, with nearly 20 years of service at the school.

“The students have been told the sad news by their tutors.

“I am also mindful that this will be a difficult time for the school community. The school is being supported by the educational psychology service and this help will continue as necessary over the coming days.”

The school has been contacted by a number of ex-students and friends of the school in response to the news and announced yesterday (Monday) that a book of condolence will be available in the school reception this week from 8am to 6pm.

Mr Gammon added: “This is intended for all those friends of the school who wish to express their support for Mr Snell’s family at this sad time and also would like to comment on the huge contribution that he made to the lives of so many young people.”

Many readers who knew Mr Snell have also been leaving their condolences on the Mercury Facebook page.

Emma Jane wrote: “A respected teacher! RIP Mr Snell. Thoughts to all the family at this sad time! Xx.”

Sadie Trent commented: “RIP Mr Snell. Though I was only at Blake for 18 months, you made me feel very welcome. My thoughts are with your family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time. I honestly cannot believe it. I owe my success at Blake to you and your colleagues. X.”

Gem Greenwood said: “He was my son’s teacher. Deacon was very sad and told me he was a great teacher and will be missed. My thoughts are with his family and friends and, of course, his former pupils xxx.”

Kelly Rayson wrote: “RIP Mr Snell. My children are students at Robert Blake and I was myself and remember you when I was there. You were a fab teacher and will be missed by lots of students. Thinking of your family and friends at this sad time x.”