TRIBUTES have been paid to a much-loved curriculum leader at a Tyne Valley school after his passing.

Chris Scott, who died of natural causes on March 2, was a PE teacher at Queen Elizabeth High School, Hexham.

Chris joined the school as a newly-qualified teacher in 2005, having undertaken one of his training placements at the school - where he met his wife Gayle, who was also a teacher in the PE department.

A keen sportsman himself, Chris excelled in a wide range of sports in his youth, gaining representative honours in football, rugby, cricket athletics and badminton. He brought his talents and experiences to bear at the school, quickly establishing himself as an outstanding teacher and willing provider of extra-curricular sporting opportunities for pupils.

Chris was promoted to second in department in 2009 before becoming curriculum leader for PE in 2017, continuing the school’s status as a widely respected place of sporting opportunity and excellence; academic outcomes for PE students at GCSE and in the sixth form were consistently among the very best in the school under Chris’ leadership.

"Chris was a much-loved colleague, teacher and friend and a big presence in our community, despite his modest, unassuming, gentle manner", said executive headteacher at the school Graeme Atkins.

"He was tireless in his efforts to support and enable our students to enjoy sport and to succeed, and always had time for them and others.

"He was an outstanding leader of the PE department, inspiring great commitment and friendship from his team, and excellent outcomes for the students - despite having to cope with very poor facilities.

" He played a leading role in shaping the school’s new sports facilities which we move into next year – a fitting physical legacy to a kind, decent, talented, warm-hearted and lovely man who will be sorely missed.

"Our thoughts are very much with Chris’ wife Gayle, their children, his mum and sisters, and the wider family at this difficult time.”

As part of a £37m investment into the school site, to open in September, new, advanced sports facilities will be available to pupils and the wider community including two multi-use game areas and a two court sports hall for the middle school, a six court sports hall, six tennis courts, two artificial grass sports areas and an all-weather floodlit 3G artificial grass sports pitch.