Poole School Reopens After Headteacher's Death

Children are going back to a school in Poole, after it was shut on Monday - following the death of their headteacher in a car crash.

Ally Mullany was killed in a collision with a fire engine near Wareham on Sunday 14th April.

She has been described as 'inspirational, positive and determined', having started her role at St Joseph's Catholic Combined School in Poole, in April 2008.

She died in the head-on crash yesterday morning, half a mile from where a man was also killed after his car struck a tree earlier that morning. The fire engine was making its way to the first emergency when the second crash occurred, Dorset Police said.

Val Arbon, chairman of Poole Headteachers Association, today led the tributes, saying:

"Ally Mullany was a force for life, an inspirational, positive and determined head teacher who was committed and deeply passionate about making a difference to the lives of children.

"She gave her time willingly to support education in Poole and found the time to contribute beyond the bounds of her own school. She inspired colleagues and friends to act, not just talk.

"She was always cheerful and enthusiastic and education will be the poorer for her loss. All head teachers locally are greatly saddened by this tragedy and send sincere condolences to her family and everyone at St Josephs Combined School."

In a statement, the school said:

"It is with the greatest regret and sadness that we have to inform you that Mrs Mullany died in a car accident.

"Out of respect we have decided to close the school on Monday.

"We would ask that you hold Mrs Mullany and her family in your prayers.''

Hugh Fogarty, chairman of governors, said a book of condolence had been set up at the school, as well as at the local church.

Poole council spokesman Janet Walton said:

"At this tragic time our thoughts are with the family of Mrs Mullany. The council is offering support to staff at St Joseph's as they deal with the loss of a wonderful colleague and friend."

The school is planning a memorial to celebrate the life of Mrs Mullany and will discuss this with pupils.

Investigations by the police and Dorset Fire and Rescue Service are underway.

Any witnesses are being urged to call the Police on 101.