A member of staff has been found dead in the grounds of a crisis-hit school – just hours before pupils arrived for lessons.
The man, in his 50s, was found dead at Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College in Rugby, Warks., as it was being unlocked today (Tues) at 5.40am.
Warwickshire Police have closed the school, which caters for 1,000 pupils aged 11-16, while investigations continue.
The man’s death is not being treated as suspicious.
Police were called to the school after reports of concern for the man’s welfare.
Headteacher Alison Davies said: “It is with the greatest sadness that, following police advice, the decision has been made to close the school following the death of a colleague on the school’s site.
“Early in the morning, as the school was being unlocked, a member of the school’s site team was found dead.
“The police have been informed and have advised us to close the school for the day.
“This is a huge shock for our entire school community and our thoughts and prayers go to our colleague’s, family and friends at this very sad time.
“The school will be actively offering emotional support to staff and pupils who have been affected by the tragic incident in the days and weeks ahead.”
The tragedy is the latest in a string of problems at the school, rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted inspectors, stretching back more than a decade.
In June 2004 the original school building was destroyed after an arson attack.
A year later the school was rebuilt after receiving a £5million from the government.
But months after the official opening, a 21-year-old man was jailed for repeatedly stabbing a security guard.
In 2005 headteacher Mark Braine quit after disciplinary proceedings were taken against him.
In 2006 arsonists struck again when they caused £10,000 of damage.
By Harry Howard