A transgender primary school teacher who began the new term as a woman, has died.
The news of Lucy Meadows’ death was announced to pupils and staff at St Mary Magdalen’s School, in Accrington, this week.
The school wrote to parents last Christmas to inform them that Nathan Upton would be returning as a woman after Christmas.
Pupils had been asked to address the teacher as Miss Meadows from the start of the Spring term.
Headteacher Karen Hardman said staff will be working with bereavement teams and the school will be offering support to children.
She said: “News of Lucy’s death has come as a tremendous shock to everyone in the school. She was a greatly valued member of our staff and we send her family and friends our sympathy and prayers.
“We are working closely with the county council and the diocese to ensure we offer our pupils and staff the support they need.
“I would ask people to respect the privacy of everyone involved at this difficult time.”
Police confirmed that officers and paramedics attended an address on Ramsbottom Street, Accrington, at 4.45pm on Tuesday March 19, where a 32-year-old woman was found dead. Her death is not being treated as suspicious.
The Blackburn Diocese Board of Education said it is working with the school to offer pastoral and practical support.
A spokesman said: “We are deeply saddened to hear the news about Lucy Meadows. Our thoughts and prayers go out first to her family and friends at this extremely difficult time.
“Also in our prayers are the staff and pupils at the school for whom this news will have been a tremendous shock.
“Lucy was a valued and well-liked member of the team at St Mary Magdalen’s and her loss will be felt deeply by everyone associated with the school. We would ask that the school is left in peace to allow that response to be managed as effectively as possible.”
A post mortem examination has been carried out and details have been passed on to the Hyndburn Coroner.
In a statement before Christmas Mr Upton thanked school governors and colleagues for their support, and asked for his privacy to be respected.