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Parents and pupils of a primary school were shocked when its headteacher of nearly 20 years died after falling ill.

Paramedics rushed to Stechford Primary School, Birmingham, following reports of a medical emergency on Monday.

Two ambulance crews and a paramedic officer battled to save the life of popular Roger Rathbone as he was rushed to hospital.

However he later died after 17 years in charge of the school, Birmingham Live reported.

Pupils will return to school on Thursday, its chair of governors confirmed today.

In a letter to parents, chair of governors Nick Ambler said: “We are sharing with you the tragic news of the death of Roger Rathbone, who has been headteacher at this school for 17 years. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

“We would appreciate you sharing this sad news with your child/children before they return to school on Thursday 24 November 2022.

“We will be consulting with the family how as a school community, at the appropriate time, we will celebrate his life and contribution to our school community.”

The school said it was closed “due to a critical incident” today. It is due to reopen after two days on Thursday, November 24.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman told BirminghamLive: “We were called at 3.06pm to a medical emergency at an address on Albert Road, Stechford. Two ambulances and a paramedic officer attended.

“Upon arrival we found a man in a critical condition. He received advanced life support from ambulance staff at the scene which continued en route to Heartlands Hospital.”

West Midlands Police confirmed the incident was a “serious medical incident and there was no police involvement”.

One shocked parent added: “Very shocking news, our children’s headteacher.

“He looked well and healthy so sad to hear of his sudden death.”