A Brighton head teacher has paid tribute to a “caring and thoughtful” 13-year-old girl who was found dead on Monday (8 July).
Varndean School head William Deighan praised Minnie Rose Eastman who was found at her home in Islingword Street, Brighton.
Mr Deighan said today (Wednesday 10 July): “Minnie Rose will be deeply missed by pupils and staff at Varndean School.
“Minnie Rose was caring and thoughtful, a gentle quiet child with plenty of friends.
“She was doing well at school and came into her own in art and drama lessons.
“We’re so very saddened by this tragedy and we’re doing all we can to support the school community.
“We send our condolences to all grieving Minnie Rose’s loss and ask for respect for her family at this time.”
She is the second pupil from the school to have died this year, after Mason Warwick, 12, was found at home by his mother in March. An inquest into Mason’s death is due to take place next Wednesday (17 July).
The school has also sent a letter to families which said: “I am sorry to have to share with you the sad news that one of our students, Minnie Rose Eastman, died unexpectedly on Monday night.
“The police have informed us that there are no suspicious circumstances and the matter has been passed to the coroner’s officer for inquiries.
“I know that the thoughts and best wishes of the whole school community will be with Minnie’s family and friends at this exceptionally difficult time.
“This morning we will make time for students and staff to have an opportunity to try to process this upsetting news and begin to reflect on how we move forward as a community.
“School bases and the counsellors are on hand all day to respond to the needs of individuals. If there is more that we need to know about how your child has been affected, please contact school bases who will help.
“We have seen already this year how bereavement can affect young people. Our support will continue this week and beyond to ensure students get the help they will need.
“In addition I have listed some phone numbers at the end of this email which may be useful and worth keeping close at hand, if you are worried about the well-being of your own child as a result of this news. The school community is extremely shaken – as I know you will be.
“The death of a child is a terrible shock and will affect us all. First and foremost the school’s focus will be upon the loss and needs of one of our families and our students and we would ask that we all refrain from speculation. Thank you for your support during this time.”