A HEADTEACHER from Witham was found “dead in a stream” after “going missing” during a holiday with friends, authorities in France have said. 

According to French newspaper Le Messager, French police officers have issued an appeal in a bid to retrace Simon Gibbs’ footsteps prior to his death.

The New Rickstones Academy teacher is said to have been found “dead in a stream” at a ski resort in Morillon in the Haute Savoie region of the northern French Alps on Sunday.

Police say the teacher was wearing a blue jacket, blue denim trousers, and had round brown glasses with a tortoiseshell pattern on at the time he went missing. 

French officers are now asking anyone who may have seen a man fitting this description between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, in the Giffre Valley, particularly in Samoëns, where he was staying on his holiday, to come forward.

Braintree and Witham Times: Site - Morillon les Esserts from the slopes, the village where Mr Gibbs' resort was according to the French reportSite - Morillon les Esserts from the slopes, the village where Mr Gibbs' resort was according to the French report (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

A spokesman for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has said it is “supporting the family of a British man who has died in France” and is “in contact with the local authorities”.

Mr Gibbs has been described as “much-loved” and “brilliant” in tributes posted after his school shared the news of his death on Monday.

In a letter sent to parents and carers, regional education director Johanna Thompson said: “I am very sorry to be writing with the tragic news Simon Gibbs, our principal, died over the weekend.

"From what we understand there was an accident on Saturday evening whilst Simon was away for the weekend with some friends in France.

“This is obviously devastating news, and our immediate thoughts are with Simon’s family at this impossible time.”

Braintree and Witham Times: Tragic - Witham headteacher Simon GibbsTragic - Witham headteacher Simon Gibbs (Image: Public)

The letter added: “Simon was a much-loved colleague and brilliant headteacher and we will miss him enormously.

“He will be remembered for his integrity and passion for teaching, as well as his dedication to the community of New Rickstones.”

The school has since turned its logo black and white on social media after making the statement public.