Tributes paid after death of inspirational headteacher who 'dedicated her life to helping others'

Moving tributes have been paid to a popular headteacher who died just months after retiring from a primary school.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 12:30 pm
Melanie Ravenscroft at the Educate Awards in 2018

Melanie Ravenscroft spent 14 years at St Aidan’s CE Primary School in Billinge, before taking early retirement at Christmas.

One of the proudest moments of her career was when St Aidan’s won the Most Inspirational Primary School title at the Educate Awards in 2018.

She died at Willowbrook Hospice in Prescot on May 2, sparking an outpouring of grief by staff, pupils, families and the wider community in Billinge.

Floral tributes have been left at the school by parents and pupils past and present and donations are being made to the hospice in her name.

A cherry blossom tree planted when she arrived at St Aidan’s in 2006, which was a gift from her previous school, is forming a focal point for staff, pupils and their families wishing to pay their respects, along with Hope’s Garden in the grounds of the school.

More than 60 heartfelt messages of condolence have been written on Mrs Ravenscroft’s online memorial page by those who knew her.

The page talks about how Mrs Ravenscroft “dedicated her life to helping others” and “touched the lives of so many little people and their families”.

Many of the tributes described her as a caring, supporting and inspirational individual, who went above and beyond for those in school.

Staff and pupils at the school will miss Mrs Ravenscroft, but believe there are many ways in which her legacy will live on within the school and wider community.

A post on St Aidan’s Church’s Facebook page said: “Many church members have had the privilege of working with Melanie over the years, both in education and in our church-school links and we, like others, were impressed by her hard work ethic, leadership, communications skills and her compassion.

“She raised the bar for us all, with high attainment based on Christian principles of God’s love and care.”

Among those leaving tributes in response was Joan Atkinson, who said: “Rest in peace Melanie. So many memories of her kindness and support. Our thoughts and condolences are with your family.”

Ruth Singh: “So sorry to hear of this sad news, I knew Mrs Ravenscroft from my health visiting days locally. Condolences to her family x”

Linda Wood said: “Rest in Peace Melanie, you were a lovely teacher when you taught my daughters at Evelyn CP School many years ago when you were a newly qualified teacher. Heartfelt thoughts go to Colin, Alice and Joe.”

Mrs Ravenscroft had previously worked at Eccleston Mere Primary School and Evelyn Primary School.

She also spent time at Newton Primary School and at Sherdley Primary School.

In addition, she worked as an English consultant for St Helens local authority.

Tributes to Mrs Ravenscroft can be made at www.remembr.com/melanie.ravenscroft2021