‘An amazing selfless man’ – Tributes pour in to York head teacher who has died after contracting coronavirus

Mark Barnett. Photograph: Selby and District Foodbank on Facebook
2 Apr 2020 @ 7.28 pm
| News

‘He was an absolute legend.’

People have been queuing up to pay tribute to a former York headteacher who has died of coronavirus.

Mark Barnett, who was head of Westfield Primary School in Acomb for 17 years, died yesterday in York Hospital after contracting Covid-19.

He retired as Westfield head in 2008 then worked at City of York Council as a consultant head. More recently he was the volunteer head of Selby and District Foodbank.

Here are just some of the tributes to a remarkable man.

  • He was my head teacher at Westfield. He was the most happiest, kindest and sincere man who made school a happy place to be.

    – Victoria Gilmour

  • He was an amazing man. He was my headteacher at Westfield then became my son’s headteacher so he was the headteacher for two generations. I always remember him being lively, fair, full of fun as well as strong and caring.

    – Karen Richardson

  • He was the headteacher at Westfield when I attended there and he was so lovely and well liked by all. I’ll always remember him up on stage in assembly with his guitar!

    – Claire Miller

  • The main thing about him was his passion for the children he was involved with. He will be remembered by a lot of people.

    – Sarah Mutlow

  • He was an absolute legend! His legacy of putting children and families’ wellbeing before anything else both at Westfield and in everything else he did will live on in the people whose lives he touched.

    – Ju Arrowsmith

  • Your dad was such a caring and charismatic man. I used to go in to school to meet with him and staff and Mark was so welcoming. He loved the children and was so good to those with extra needs.

    – Anne Crawford

  • Mark just wanted to talk about the kids… and could he talk! He understood that happy children learn. A simple idea but one overlooked & ignored by many suits in education.

    – Ian Donaghy

  • However you remember Mark he was a huge character in so many people’s lives. Big man, Big voice, Big presence, when Mark was about he meant business because he cared about and loved people.

    – Selby & District Foodbank

  • A wonderful gentleman with the kindest heart

    – Claire Horsfield`

  • He was an amazing selfless man.

    – Susan Lightfoot