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Chew Valley schoolgirl found dead at her home

By The Bristol Post  |  Posted: March 06, 2013

Chew Valley School, where Stephanie Moreno was a student

An investigation is underway after a schoolgirl was found dead at her home in Pensford.

The 15-year-old Chew Valley School pupil was found by her distraught parents at their home in the High Street on Sunday.

The teenager, who is believed to have been found hanged, was named as Stephanie Moreno, a “bright student” who was said to be on course for top grades in her GCSE exams.

Chew Valley School head teacher Mark Mallett said the school community was devastated at the news of her death.

Mr Mallett said: “Stephanie Moreno was just two months away from her sixteenth birthday.

“She was a quiet girl, with a strong and supportive friendship group and a tutor, head of year and number of subject staff who were active in supporting her welfare.

“She was a bright student, who had achieved very good results in her mocks and was on target to achieve A-grades in her GCSE examinations this summer. Her friends and teachers are devastated by the loss of Stephanie.

“All at the school send sincere condolences to Stephanie’s family in their bereavement.

“The school will be supporting Stephanie’s friends and classmates at this very difficult time and will continue to provide pastoral care and support for as long as needed by our students.”

The school remained open on Monday and yesterday.

Avon and Somerset police spokeswoman said: “This is being treated as a sudden death that is not thought to be suspicious. An investigation on behalf of the coroner is continuing.

“We are currently working with our partners to ensure that safeguarding standards remain high and support is in place for students.”

If it is confirmed that the teenager was hanged, it would make her the third pupil from Chew Valley School to be found dead in similar circumstances during the last two years.

The first was 11-year-old Matthew James, who was found in the back garden of his family’s home in Pensford in April 2011. An inquest recorded an open verdict.

In May last year Chris Palmer, 15, was found hanging from a tree in the garden of his parents’ home at Ubley. An inquest into his death also recorded an open verdict.

The comprehensive school in Chew Magna has 1,200 pupils on its roll, including more than 200 sixth formers.

The school was last inspected by Ofsted in September 2011 and rated as outstanding. In the report, inspectors said that safeguarding procedures at the school were of a high standard and students felt safe.

They added that attainment was high and standards in many subjects had been well above average for a number of years.

Last year, 84 per cent of students achieved five GCSEs at grades A*-C and 70 per cent achieved five A*-C grades including English and maths.

Pensford and Publow parish vicar Canon John Simpson said Stephanie’s death had shocked the whole village.

A candle has been lit and a book of condolence opened in the tower of St Thomas a Becket church in the village.

Mr Simpson said: “The whole village is terribly upset by what has happened.

“The family is well known and well respected in the village.

“People are rallying around and trying to support the family at this time.

“We have lit a candle and opened a book of condolence in the village church.

“This is to provide a place for people who want to be quiet for a minute and think about Stephanie.”

If you are concerned about someone please call the Samaritans on 08457 909090 day or night.

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