The headteacher of East Wichel Primary School has paid tribute to a much-loved teacher who has died unexpectedly.

East Wichel Primary School announced on Monday, March 11 that the school would be closed to all children and staff due to 'sad unforeseen circumstances'.

In an update 24 hours later, a spokesperson for the school confirmed that Mrs Jo Porter, who taught Year 1 pupils, had died.

Headteacher of East Wichel Primary School, Paula Phillips, has now paid tribute to the "much-loved" and "committed" staff member whose death has shaken the school community.

“The whole school community of East Wichel Primary is extremely saddened by the sudden and unexpected death of our much-loved Year 1 teacher Mrs Jo Porter," said Ms Phillips.

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with her family and friends at this extremely difficult time.

“Jo was a committed and valuable member of our team and will be very much missed by us all. 

"She also worked in King William Street School for many years where she was also a valued colleague.

“As a school, we have been supported by Swindon Borough Council, the Stowe Church and a number of other organisations and will be concentrating on supporting children and staff who have been affected by Jo’s sad passing.”

Jo Porter died at home on Sunday, March 10 and the school was closed to students and staff the following day.

Children at East Wichel Primary School were informed of the news by their teachers in classes on Tuesday morning.

East Wichel Primary School will now be focussing on doing activities together with children and staff to help remember Jo and support members of the school community though their grieving.

"Support has been available to all children throughout the day and members of our team are being guided by advice given from the Educational Psychologists," said headteacher Ms Phillips.

"This not only includes children in her class and staff with whom she had close relationships with but also those for whom this news triggers feelings of sadness and loss due to events in their own lives.

"We plan to provide this support whilst also returning the school to normal routines as soon as possible," she added.