TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular longstanding headteacher who lost her battle with cancer.
Alison Spittles was head at Goldsmith Infant School and The Brambles Nursery School in Bramble Road, Southsea.
Last month she died aged just 47, after suffering from a rare type of liver cancer.
She had worked at the school since 1991 where she started as a newly-qualified teacher and worked her way up to become headteacher, a position she held for 10 years.
Christine Thomas is the finance manager at the school, and had known Alison since she started.
She said: ‘She was one of a kind. She was caring and she gave everything.’
Acting headteacher Allison Cox said: ‘She was deeply committed to the school and to the education of children in Portsmouth.
‘She was always giving her time. She was never too busy for any parent or any member of staff.
‘She absolutely embodied the spirit of this school. She was the beating heart of the school.
‘She had such a passion for learning. She never gave up.
‘She was never negative about people. If she had bad days she was always the one to pick us up.’
Mrs Spittles remarried her former husband Mark just two weeks before she died. She also leaves behind her 16-year-old daughter Eleanor.
Mrs Cox added: ‘She had a big passion for music. We take part in music festivals.
‘We have been a singing school. We have had a staff choir for a few years.
‘We are looking to do some sort of memorial for her in school which is music related.’
Share D’All, chairwoman of governors at the school, said: ‘As a headteacher Ali worked incredibly hard to continually increase the quality of what the school provided.
‘She was totally committed to giving the children she worked with the best possible start in life.’
A condolences book is at the school for people to sign.
The funeral will take place on Wednesday, September 10 at Oaks Crematorium in Havant at 2.30pm.
Instead of flowers, the family have asked for donations to be made to The Rowans Hospice where Mrs Spittles spent her last few weeks.
FORMER staff, pupils and parents have paid tribute to Mrs Spittles.
The school’s Facebook page has been full of kind words about the former headteacher.
Angel Candice Hughes said: ‘A wonderful lady, the best headteacher my boys have known. Our thoughts are with the family. RIP Mrs Spittles, you were the best.’
Bridget Hamblin said: ‘So very sad to hear this news, she truly was an amazing head teacher, always had time and always listened, and knew each and every child’s name.
‘A truly inspirational woman, a great loss to her profession and to all that had the pleasure to know her. There will be one more very bright star in the sky tonight.’
Mark King added: ‘Mrs Spittles was my teacher at Goldsmith Infants nearly 20 years ago. So sad to hear of her passing. My thoughts go to her family. At least she is now at peace.’
Meg Palamidas said: ‘So sad. A fantastic, dedicated headteacher who will be greatly missed by all of the pupils. Thinking of her family at this sad time.’