Tributes pour in for inspirational teacher

Ben Vidler, left, pictured on a trip with Giles Academy pupils to the Peak District
Ben Vidler, left, pictured on a trip with Giles Academy pupils to the Peak District

Staff and students at Giles Academy have paid tribute to an ‘inspirational’ teacher who has died from cancer.

Former science teacher and assistant head Ben Vidler died peacefully just before Christmas, aged 49.

Mr Vidler encouraged pupils at the Old Leake school to pursue outdoor activities and instilled a passion for adventure in those he taught.

His efforts inspired pupils to complete a gruelling 230-mile pedal-car ride from Wales to Skegness last November. They did this in his honour - raising thousands of pounds for Macmillan Cancer Support in the process.

Deputy head Ian Widdows said: “Everyone involved with the Giles Academy, students, staff and governors, are extremely sad at the passing of Ben Vidler just before Christmas.

“Ben joined the school in September 2012. as assistant head teacher and science teacher and in his time at the school made a huge impression. He will be remembered by all as someone with a huge personality, an extremely positive outlook on life and an infectious sense of humour. He was passionate about his work and always wanted to do the very best for those around him. He also played a large part in the introduction of Giles Adventure, which has seen year eight and year nine students camping at Edale in the Peak District, and all year 10 students participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award from 2013 onwards.

“Many students and ex-students have contacted the school following the announcement of his death to express their sadness about this news and to share their memories, one student saying ‘sir, you were always smiling, such an inspiration and a brilliant teacher. You will be dearly missed’.”

Mr Widdows added: “Our thoughts are with Ben’s wife, Tracey and his daughters, Sam, Penni and Tobey.”