A Preston secondary school has confirmed its closure was a mark of respect to a staff member who died after being taken ill on campus.Advertisement
Fulwood Academy sent pupils and staff home from late morning on Monday when the incident took place.
Caretaker Jak Vaja, who had worked at the school for decades, is understood to have suffered a heart attack and later died at Royal Preston Hospital.
A letter, seen by Blog Preston, sent to all parents by principal Stephen Hendry, paid tribute to Mr Vaja and said a ‘lasting memorial’ was planned in his memory.
Mr Henry stated: “As you may be aware the academy lost a much loved member of staff this week.
“Jak Vaja worked as a site supervisor and was loved by the pupils and staff at Fulwood.
“He was devoted to Fulwood Academy and to the pupils and he worked at Fulwood for many years in the old building and the new.
“His passing has hit the staff and pupils hard and as a mark of respect we decided to close the academy on Tuesday (19 June).
“We appreciate your understanding at this difficult time and apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused you or your family. I hope you understand that we could not share further details any earlier out of respect for his friends and family.
“We will be informing all pupils during brief assemblies this week but we we will be planning a lasting memorial in the coming days and weeks.
“He was a very popular member of the academy community and will be missed by everyone who knew him.”
Read more: Fulwood restaurant won’t reopen after a refurb
Mr Henry goes on to offer information about support numbers for pupils at the school if they have been affected by the incident.
He also states counsellors from Place2Be will be at the academy throughout the rest of the week to support any pupil who may be affected by the news.
The Academy reopened as normal on Wednesday (20 June).
You can leave your tributes to Mr Vaja in the comments below