TRIBUTES have poured in for a “kind, dedicated and selfless” teacher who sadly passed away this weekend.

Staff at The Billericay School have paid tribute to Mr Alan Elkins, who died “unexpectedly” following a short ilness, aged 54.

Mr Elkins, who lived in Burnham-on-Crouch and described himself as a “proud father”, had taught at the academy secondary school and sixth form for more than 20 years.

“Alan will be missed by colleagues and students alike,” Headteacher Patrick Berry said.

“He was kind, dedicated and selfless in his desire to support our students. He was the embodiment of the school motto of caring about success.

“We have lost a wonderful member of our Billericay school family. “

Mr Elkins taught Business Studies and Economics since joining the school in January 2000.

“During his time at the school, he led the business studies and IT departments. Over this period of time, he has taught thousands of students, enabling them to be successful and entering universities of their choice, Mr Berry added.

Mr Elkins first began teaching in 1989 at the Bohunt Education Trust (then Bohunt School) in Liphook, Hampshire, having finished a business degree at the University of West England in the same year.

In a letter sent home to parents, a Billericay School spokesman said: “We have spoken to our students who were taught or tutored by Mr Elkins to make them aware of the news and let them know of the support available to them should they need it.

“The school counsellor, pastoral staff, and members of the street pastor team will be available in the days ahead.”

A room of remembrance and reflection has been made available for students, staff and colleagues to reflect on Mr Elkins life and career at the school.

A book of condolences has been opened for pupils and staff to write and sketch in. All tributes will be passed onto Mr Elkins’ family at the end of term.

School leaders say a “suitable celebration” of Mr Elkins’ life will be organised in “due course”.