A school community has been left in shock after its headteacher suddenly resigned following a bout of illness.
Matthew Heasman from Adeyfield’s Broadfield Primary School will officially step down at the end of April but has not been at work since the start of February.
He has been at the school for 10 years and oversaw the merger of Broadfield infants and junior into one primary school back in 2008.
Chairman of governors at the Windmill Road school, Nick Evans, said: “This has come as a huge shock to us and the school community is devastated to lose such a strong and well respected head.
“Mr Heasman has given so much to Broadfield and governors, staff, parents and pupils will all miss him.”
A farewell event is being planned for after the Easter school break.
Mr Evans said: “We hope that he will be well enough to come to school to take part in that celebration. For now, however, our immediate priority must be to recruit a new head for the September term.”
The school is currently being led by Elizabeth Foster, who has taken up the post of acting headteacher. She was previously a senior teacher within the school and a member of the leadership team.
A deputy headteacher has already been recruited and is due to take up the position after Easter.
Mr Evans said: “All of the staff without exception have raised their efforts to support the school since Mr Heasman’s absence.
“Mr Heasman’s decision was his to make and his alone. His resignation was motivated by personal reasons. It remains our duty to protect the confidentiality of his circumstances.
“The entire board of governors and school staff without exception had and retains nothing but the highest respect for him.
“Mr Heasman has acted with complete integrity in this process. He has also made considerable personal sacrifice in order to help us meet the deadline to enable us to recruit a new headteacher for September.”