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Headteacher of Coppice Primary Partnership, Darren Webb, has died

A charismatic head teacher has died.

Darren Webb, executive head teacher of the Coppice Primary Partnership which runs Coxheath, Loose and St Katherine's primary schools, had a heart attack yesterday afternoon.

Darren Webb. Picture: Chris Davey
Darren Webb. Picture: Chris Davey

A letter was sent to parents from the chair of trustees, Carole Hardy.

It read: "It is with great sadness that I am emailing all parents to inform you that Darren Webb, our Executive Headteacher, passed away late this afternoon.

"Darren was a charismatic and inspirational leader, whose values led us all to work towards the best outcomes for all children in our Trust.

"I know that Darren would wish us all to continue to offer the best for all the children and we strive to deliver his vision and uphold his ethos and values."

KentOnline understands Mr Webb was at school when he collapsed.

In 2017 Mr Webb became executive head of Coxheath Primary School, alongside his stewardship of Loose Primary. He was given the enhanced role after he led Loose to an outstanding Ofsted rating in late 2016.

His work meant Loose Primary School was held up as being a shining example to UK policy makers.

Loose Primary School suffered another tragedy a decade ago when seven-year-old Benji Percival collapsed in the playground.

The community came together to raise money to buy two defibrillators after his death and the school worked with a charity to be trained in using the machines.

Ms Hardy added: "Darren had a sudden heart attack and despite all efforts he could not be resuscitated.

"You will understand how difficult this will be for school staff and children over the coming weeks. The school will be arranging appropriate bereavement support for both staff and children."

She described Mr Webb as "visionary, charismatic and someone who always put the children first", adding "the suddenness make it very difficult and we're all just trying to come to terms with it at the moment.

"We are very grateful for the support of parents and the contributions they have made on his accolades, and have nothing but admiration for the professionalism of the teachers and school staff who are trying their best at this difficult time."

Shocked parents have been paying tribute to Mr Webb this morning.

Maria Martin said: "Such sad news Mr Webb was an amazing headteacher that achieved so much, he will be deeply missed.

"My children were so upset by this news they totally respected him. Thinking of his family at this sad time."

Donna Smith said: "He was an amazing person, always helpful when I needed him."

Marc Jennings described him as a "truly inspirational headteacher".

Listen to our daily news podcast to hear more tributes from parents.

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone

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