FLORAL tributes have been left by a grief-stricken school community in memory of a much-loved teenager who died suddenly after collapsing in class.

The death of 14-year-old student Ted Sanderson has stunned fellow pupils and teachers at Woodham Academy in Newton Aycliffe.

The youngster went to school as normal on Tuesday, but his family got a call shortly after the start of the day to say he had collapsed and been taken to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

Ted, who lived with his grandparents Lynn and Keith and dad Eddie, was popular with peers and teaching staff at the school, who are now mourning his loss.

The Northern Echo: Ted with his grandparents Lynn and Keith and cousin DeanTed with his grandparents Lynn and Keith and cousin Dean

Woodham Academy headteacher Andrew Bell said: “We are very proud of the way the whole school community has pulled together and shown great compassion Ted and his family.

“All of the students have been talking about the event and comforting each other very well and taking the support and other agencies if required.

“In terms of the messages I have received from the wider community of Newton Aycliffe, in terms of emails, phones calls and cards, has also been quite touching.”

The Northern Echo: Flowers left at Woodham Academy in memory of Ted SandersonFlowers left at Woodham Academy in memory of Ted Sanderson

Ted was passionate about music and enjoyed outdoor sports including fishing and shooting.

In school he loved history and RE and hoped to become a teacher one day.

The cause of Ted’s death is not yet known and his nan, Lynn Wilson, described him as ‘her world’.

She said: “He was a gorgeous boy. He was so much fun and he had so much character. He was perfect. He loved everything about life.

“I can’t think how we are going to live without him. We are going to have to get through this together.”

There are plans to create a memorial at the school and almost £5,000 has already been raised in his memory.

A Go Fund Me was set up to raise money for a bench, but someone has come forward who has said they will make it, so the plan is for money raised to go to the children’s trauma unit at James Cook University Hospital.

The Northern Echo: Ted and his nan, Lynn WilsonTed and his nan, Lynn Wilson

Mel Reid-Wilson, Ted’s aunt said he was “the best of the best”.

She added: “A kind person is making us a memorial bench for Teddy’s school so all of his friends have a place to go and see him.

“That’s what Ted would have wanted. He was all for his friends.”

A special remembrance assembly was held at the school on Wednesday.

Mr Bell said: “Ted was a very special young man. The best word I can use to describe him is ‘quirky’.

“He was really articulate, pleasant and happy young man.

“He would openly talk to adults and staff and all of the teachers who dealt with him specifically really felt a close affiliation with him.   

“It has really hit the staff pretty hard.”


Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054