THE head teacher of a York secondary school has paid tribute to a “wonderful colleague, friend and leader” who has died after a long illness.

Carole Haigh, a former head of modern foreign languages and head of Year Seven at Archbishop Holgate’s CE School, retired last year after 18 years at the school.

Head teacher Andrew Daly said many students and parents would remember her as she welcomed new starters to the school.

He said: “She was a brilliant Head of Year Seven: firm and fair in all her dealings with children and always doing everything in her power to enable students to succeed.

“As a German teacher, she has inspired many students over the years, primarily through her outstanding teaching but also through her organisation of really enjoyable school visits to France and Germany.

“As a community, we will miss her humour, her kindness and her deep and genuine care for others. She was a wonderful colleague, friend and leader.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband, her children and her family at this very difficult time.”

He said a service had been held in the chapel for Mrs Haigh, which had been very well attended by both staff and students.

Mrs Haigh was said by her family to have been a dearly loved and devoted wife and mother, who was born in 1952 and died peacefully at home, with family members beside her.

Her funeral will take place at York Crematorium at 2.20pm on Thursday, with mourners asked not to bring flowers but make donations instead to Cancer Care Charitable Trust Fund at York Hospital’s Cancer Centre.