Tributes paid to ‘amazing’ head teacher Cliff Summers

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Tributes have been paid to an “amazing” head teacher who taught hundreds of pupils across Morley.

Cliff Summers died last Wednesday, two months after beginning his retirement.

Former head teacher Cliff Summers has passed away.

Former head teacher Cliff Summers has passed away.

Mr Summers was most recently head teacher at Churwell Primary School, a role he had held for ten years.

He retired in July, aged 59.

A spokeswoman for the school, on Westwood Side, said the community had lost an “amazing” man.

She said: “Churwell School is very saddened by the death of Cliff Summers.

“Mr Summers was an amazing head teacher. Children, staff, parents and governors always spoke so highly of him.

“He was a kind, caring and compassionate man who always worked hard to do the right thing.

“He has had a positive impact on the lives of so many children and their families in Morley.

“Our Churwell school family and the wider community of Churwell and Morley have lost an amazing head teacher, colleague and friend.

“Our thoughts and love go to Mr Summers’ family at this very sad time.”

During his time at Churwell, Mr Summers oversaw the development of a woodland trail for children in the school grounds.

Summers Walk was officially opened by the school council, as part of his retirement celebrations.

The head teacher was also involved in campaigns to make the roads surrounding the school safer for pupils.

He regularly sent out reminders urging people to park with care and attention for other drivers and for parents and children crossing the road.

Mr Summers’ earlier career in education also saw him take on roles as a teacher at the former Cross Hall school and as a head master at both Seven Hills and Blackgates primary schools.

Richard Catherall, current head teacher at Seven Hills, said Mr Summers always made his pupils his priority.

He said: “It is with great sadness that we heard of the passing away of Cliff Summers.

“Cliff was head teacher at Seven Hills Primary School for eight years, from the late 1990s, and staff remember his time as head with great fondness.

“In the many different ways that education has changed at a national level over the years, Cliff always ensured that the best interests of Morley children came first.

“His kindness, hard work and sense of humour will be greatly missed.

“On behalf of all the community at Seven Hills may I pass on our deepest sympathy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Nikki and family and all the staff, parents and children at Churwell Primary School.”

Mr Summers’ former pupils were among many that took to social media to pay their respects.

Laura Coupe said on Facebook: “What a wonderful head teacher Mr Summers was. My love and thoughts go out to his family.”

Kaz Williams added: “RIP Mr Summers the best head teacher I ever had.”

Heather Gomersall wrote: “He was a fantastic person as well as a head teacher. My kids loved him.”

Sarah Mcardle said: “Great head teacher at Blackgates all them years ago.”

And Sarah Crossland added: “Fantastic head at Seven Hills.”

Sharon Peat said: “Amazing head teacher, a beautiful soul and true gentleman. I hope that the Morley councillors will propose a lasting memorial in his name and open a book of condolence in the Town Hall. Love, thoughts and prayers to his family.”

Barbara Marsden wrote: “Oh I am so very sorry to hear this sad news. What a loss to education. Thoughts are with his family.”

And James Barr added: “Great head teacher. Will be sadly missed by all who knew him.”