Teacher, 55, dies from Covid just two days after Christmas

Tributes are paid to ‘dedicated and inspirational’ secondary school teacher, 55, after he died from Covid just two days after Christmas

  • Engineering teacher Paul Hilditch, 55, died from Covid two days after Christmas
  • The teacher from from Teesside died after two weeks of treatment for the virus 
  • Conyers School says Mr Hilditch was ‘truly dedicated, caring and well-loved’

Tributes have poured in for a dedicated and inspirational secondary school teacher who died from Covid-19 just two days after Christmas. 

Parents, pupils and teachers have paid tribute to Teesside teacher Paul Hilditch, 55, following his death on Sunday. 

Headteacher of Conyers School, Louise Spellman, said they were ‘deeply saddened’ at the sudden loss of their colleague and friend.

It comes as teaching unions criticised the Government’s handling of the pandemic, calling for greater risk assessments to protect staff. 

Paul Hilditch, 55, died just two days after Christmas following a two-week battle with Covid-19

Mr Hilditch taught engineering and technology at Conyers for four years and Ms Spellman said he was ‘a truly dedicated, caring and well-loved member of staff.’

‘Paul was a fantastic teacher who thought so much of his students and really gave his all to ensure they achieved their best,’ she said.

‘He was a true inspiration to many and, for our students, he worked tirelessly to ensure their success.

‘His passion for electronics in particular has had a powerful impact on our students, many of whom have gone on to successful careers in engineering.

The engineering teacher was described as kind, devoted and a true inspiration to pupils at Conyers School in Yarm, Teesside

‘Paul loved our school and our students: he will be remembered as a kind, devoted and truly brilliant teacher.

‘All of our thoughts and prayers are with Paul’s friends and family at this time.’ 

Tributes were paid on social media. The parents of a pupil said: ‘My son really took to him and the way he taught – despite having only been taught by him since September.

‘Absolutely heartbreaking, thoughts and love to his family.’

Another wrote: ‘Such a terrible loss. My daughter thought he was a great teacher. My thoughts go out to his family.’

One shocked pupil said: ‘No way I’m reading this, he was one the best teachers in there. Rest in peace.’ 

Conyers School in Teesside paid tribute to the teacher, as unions call for greater risk assessments to protect staff as classes return in the New Year

Mr Hilditch’s death comes as the Government announced that Year 11 and Year 13 classes will return to school on January 11, with other secondary school pupils heading back a week later.  

Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT, said the government needed to prioritise access to a Covid-19 vaccine for teachers and education staff. 

He said: ‘It has been abundantly clear throughout the autumn term that the pandemic is seriously impacting on the ability of all schools to continue to operate normally and safely. 

‘However, schools have faced continued and unnecessary uncertainty which has created huge anxiety for pupils, parents and staff which could and should have been avoided.

‘Risk assessment measures must be urgently reviewed and updated in light of the new dangers that have been identified by the Government.’  

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