Tributes to girl after school death

Woodlands School, Basildon
Woodlands School in Basildon where Leonie was a pupil Photo: ITV Anglia

Tributes have been paid to a 12-year-old girl who died after being hit by a rugby ball during a PE lesson at a school.

Leonie Nice was catching the ball during a lesson at Woodlands Comprehensive School in Takely End Basildon, Essex, when she was hit in the chest and fell over, appearing to have a fit, Essex County Council said.

Emergency services were called after the incident, just before noon yesterday, and Leonie was taken to Basildon Hospital but died soon afterwards.

Andy White, headteacher at Woodlands, paid tribute to Year 7 pupil Leonie as a "promising, delightful and kind girl".

"The pupils and parents have been informed of this sad event and students who require support are being looked after by our own staff and specialist staff from Essex County Council's support team.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time. Leonie was a promising, delightful and kind girl who will be greatly missed by all the staff and pupils of Woodlands School."

– Andy White, Headteacher

Tributes were also left to Leonie on Twitter. One, from @ShannonHernaman said: "RIP Leonie-Jo Nice; a beautiful girl, resting with the angels - heaven only takes the best; we all love you; sleep tight angel."

Another, from @chlomurph--x read: "R.i.p to our beautiful friend leonie-Jo nice,a stunning girl that was only young, hopes to her family, we all love you, our gorgeous angel."