STAFF and children at an Ash school have paid tribute to a former teacher who has died of cancer.

Gail Dixon, 57, spent 20 years at Ash Grange Primary School, eventually becoming deputy head.

Former pupils and parents attended a special memorial assembly to celebrate her life and give thanks for her special contribution to the school.

"She was very well loved and respected," said Ash Grange head Lyn Richards.

Ms Dixon, deputy head from 1993-99 and then a governor, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998.

Initially the outlook was hopeful but when the disease returned two years later she was forced to step down from a full-time role. She spent her final years giving specialist advice to schools.

A tree planted by her on her last day at Ash Grange (pictured) will serve as a reminder of her.