TRIBUTES have poured in for a "kind and caring" teacher at a school in Taunton who has died.

Jay Wood taught Latin and classics at Taunton School for 13 years.

A statement on the school's Facebook page says: "We have recently heard the awful news that Mx Jay Wood has passed away.

"Jay taught Latin and Classics at Taunton School for 13 years and was an excellent teacher.

"Jay was more than a teacher and was known across our community for their kind and caring nature and for their love of literature and films.

"Many students and colleagues have benefitted from their support and we will miss Jay deeply.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Jay’s family and friends."

Facebook tributes included Eliza Jane Getman, who said: "So grateful to have shared a brief moment in time with such a gentle, caring, intelligent and kind human being. Our community is poorer without Jay in our lives."

Niki Kirby said: "I was fortunate enough to work with Jay and really valued their friendship, kindness and wisdom."

Lucy May Martin said: "A truer, kinder and more gentle friend you will never meet. Quiet yet astounding intelligence in spades and always with their head in a book."

Fiona Cracknell said: "Jay was one of the true gems of Taunton School: warm, kind, deeply caring and never without a smile. What an absolute privilege to have known such a quietly incredible person."

Richard Gower said: "An absolutely wonderful person. I was really lucky to have Jay as a colleague as I was starting my teaching journey - anyone who they taught will have been incredibly lucky."

Mx Wood posted on the Taunton School website during LGBT+ History Month last year outlining how they realised they were bisexual as a teenager and later that they were non-binary.

They said: "My family, friends, colleagues, and students have been wonderfully affirming."

"The world can be a scary place if you don’t feel like you fit in," added Mx Wood.

"Even throwaway comments describing something rubbish as ‘gay’ can hurt members of the LGBTQ+ community; one papercut of a thousand.

"This should not be their problem to 'deal with'.

"We are each responsible for our own behaviour, and must accept responsibility for it.

"The fight for equality depends upon us all standing proactively against social injustice, in all its forms.

"Bigotry will not be solved by social media posts or rainbow lanyards alone.

"Staff, students, parents: we all have a part to play in creating a fairer world."