PUPILS and colleagues have been paying tribute to former Castle School drama teacher Steve Mitchell, who has passed away.

The school has confirmed Mr Mitchell, who taught at the Taunton school between 1993 and 2013, passed away after 'a period of illness'.

"It is with sadness that we are letting you know that Steve Mitchell has passed away after a period of illness," a statement from the school said.

"Mr Mitchell taught drama at The Castle School from 1993 until 2013.

"Many Castle School families will remember Mr Mitchell as a much valued and significant figure who made an enormous contribution to the life of The Castle School.

"Our thoughts are with Mr Mitchell’s family.

"We have been very fortunate and appreciative to have benefitted from the difference Mr Mitchell made to a great number of young people."

Former pupils joined the tributes on social media.

Abi Hawkins wrote: "So sorry to hear this. Mr Mitchell joined the school just before I started Drama GCSE and I remember his lessons fondly.

"I’m now an English and Drama teacher and often think to myself, “How would Mr Mitchell teach this?”.

"Best wishes to his family xx"

Rebecca Cosgrove said: "An amazing teacher. RIP Mr Mitchell. Thinking of the family at this sad time."

Arnica Bickerstaff added: "Such sad news. I loved Drama at school and Mr Mitchell allowed many of us to be involved in such brilliant productions and we had such fun in our year 11 variety show!

"Some of the best memories I will take away from the Castle School were under his watchful eye.

"'A good heart 'is worth gold', William Shakespeare. Rest easy Sir x"