Beckfoot Thornton headteacher Jeremy Richardson leaves 'very precious legacy' after Bradford fatal cycling accident
A headteacher from Leeds who has died after a cycling accident leaves a "very precious legacy" at the school where he taught, a colleague leading the tributes to him has said.
Jeremy Richardson, 61, passed away in hospital on Thursday after being struck by a car in Bradford the previous morning.
A husband and dad to three children, he taught maths before taking on leadership roles at Sheffield Springs Academy and then Bishop Young C of E Academy in east Leeds.
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He was executive headteacher of Beckfoot Thornton School in Bradford and first joined the Beckfoot Trust, which runs the school, in 2016.
In a letter to parents and staff, Trust chief executive Shirley Watson said: "Our community has lost a great leader and a wonderful man. More importantly, his wife and three children have lost a much-loved husband and father and our hearts go out to them at this tremendously sad time.
"I know that this news will be met with immense shock and sadness, however I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Jeremy and the immense impact he has had on all of our lives.
"He first joined Beckfoot Trust in 2017 and was appointed to the position of headteacher of Beckfoot Thornton in April of that year. It is no secret that the school needed root and branch improvement and under Jeremy’s leadership, Beckfoot Thornton has not just been improved, it has been transformed.
"As CEO of Beckfoot Trust I always take great pleasure in visiting Beckfoot Thornton; it is an exceptionally calm, purposeful and learning-focussed organisation with highly professional staff and motivated students. Jeremy’s great leadership strengths were recognised by Beckfoot Trust in 2019 when he was appointed as Executive Headteacher.
"His influence has been felt throughout our whole Trust. I have personally had the absolute privilege to have worked with him side by side since my appointment as CEO last year. His passing is greatly felt by us all."
She said Mr Richardson brought a wealth of senior leadership experience to his role and was a former Ofsted inspector and Department for Education advisor.
"Every decision he made had student learning at the heart," she said. "His excitement and love of school improvement was palpable and infectious, and we know that he whole-heartedly loved his job and his school.
"Our school and Trust community and the world of education as a whole, owes so much to Jeremy and despite our deep grief, our overwhelming feeling is one of gratitude. We feel so very fortunate to have worked with him and his influence lives on in all of us.
"Jeremy has left us with a very precious legacy; we will continue to do whatever it takes to lead this school to where it deserves to be, delivering the absolute best outcomes for the young people and community that we serve."
Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses after receiving reports that a car had collided with a cyclist in Byron Street, Bradford, shortly before 6.40am on Wednesday.
A spokesperson said: "The cyclist, a man aged 61 from Leeds, was taken to hospital with serious injuries. He has since passed away.
"The driver of the vehicle stopped at the scene and is helping police with their enquiries."