A SCHOOL is in mourning following the tragic death of 16-year-old pupil Leilani Clarke.

Year 11 students at Twynham School in Christchurch were today informed that she had passed away.

Head teacher Jy Taylor addressed students in assembly this morning and told them the sad news.

In a statement sent to the Daily Echo, Leilani's parents paid tribute to their daughter saying: "Leilani was a bright and dearly loved daughter who we shall miss terribly.

"We are so grateful for the care, compassion and support received from all who knew her."

A parents' evening planned for last night was cancelled as news of Leilani's death spread throughout the school community.

Mr Taylor told the Daily Echo: "We are devastated by this news. All our thoughts are with her family and friends at this extremely difficult time.

"Students have been informed today. Counselling and support will be available to them and to everyone in the school community affected by this tragic event."

Mr Taylor said he has been in contact with Leilani's family. The circumstances in which she died have not been revealed.

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