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Tributes paid to ‘wonderful’ Suffolk headteacher after sudden death

PUBLISHED: 20:31 27 May 2020 | UPDATED: 20:31 27 May 2020

Wells Hall Primary School headteacher Jim Cleaver has died after suffering a heart attack aged 50. Picture: Gooderham PR

Wells Hall Primary School headteacher Jim Cleaver has died after suffering a heart attack aged 50. Picture: Gooderham PR

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Tributes have been paid to Jim Cleaver, the “wonderful” headteacher of Wells Hall Primary School in Great Cornard, who has died aged 50 after suffering a heart attack.

Jim Cleaver, pictured here in 2015 taking part in a charity event when he was headteacher at Westgate Primary in Bury St Edmunds, has died after suffering a heart attack aged 50. Picture: ANDY ABBOTTJim Cleaver, pictured here in 2015 taking part in a charity event when he was headteacher at Westgate Primary in Bury St Edmunds, has died after suffering a heart attack aged 50. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Father-of-three Mr Cleaver suffered a heart attack on Sunday, having spent the day at home with his family.

The popular and highly-regarded teacher had been at the school for three years having had a long career in primary education.

He was previously been headteacher at Westgate Primary School in Bury St Edmunds before moving to Great Cornard.

In a statement issued by the Unity Schools Partnership on behalf of the school, tributes were paid to Mr Cleaver.

Jim Cleaver, far right, pictured in 2017 with founder of The Daily Mile, Elaine Wyllie, James Payne and Abdul Razaq.
  Picture:SARAH LUCY BROWNJim Cleaver, far right, pictured in 2017 with founder of The Daily Mile, Elaine Wyllie, James Payne and Abdul Razaq. Picture:SARAH LUCY BROWN

It said: “We all knew how important Jim’s family was to him, and we wish his wife, three daughters, parents, brother and sister and his wider family our very best wishes at this time of such sadness.

“The trust and school are proud to have been associated with Jim and are committed to building on the great work he has led at Wells Hall Primary School.

“In our intense sadness, we remember Jim’s work with great gratitude and with great regret that he was not with us for longer.”

Further memories and tributes have been paid to Mr Cleaver.

One tribute read: “I am absolutely devastated at the news of Jim’s sudden death. He truly was a wonderful, selfless man who put everyone before himself.

“He will be greatly missed by the whole Wells Hall community.”

Another took to social media saying: “He was such a wonderful guy and just all round great person.

“The kids really respected and enjoyed being around him. He was a super Cool Guy.

“I’m so sorry for the family’s loss.”

Mr Cleaver was a big supporter of The Daily Mile, the initiative to get children doing daily exercise, and got behind an EADT/Ipswich Star campaign several years ago to get more schools to sign up to the initiative.

Wells Hall Primary was due, subject to further confirmation by the Government, to open to more children from June 1 but the school has today written to parents stating this will now be delayed and a new date confirmed later this week.


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