“Holly was a very talented and very bright girl” her head teacher has said as the school supports its staff and pupils in coming to terms with her death in a road accident.

Mike Donoghue, principle of John Taylor High School, in Barton under Needwood, has paid tribute to “much loved” pupil Holly Brown, who died while on a school art trip when the minibus she was traveling in collided with a council bin lorry on Friday, July 7, just after 9am.

Holly, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was one of the 21 children from the Barton school who were on the bus when it crashed in Castle Vale, in Birmingham. A second teenage girl from the school was taken to hospital with minor injuries and others were treated at the roadside. West Midlands Police said the minibus was also carrying four adults - the driver and three teachers.

Flowers left outside John Taylor High School for Holly Brown
Mr Donoghue said: “It is clear from the enormous amount of tributes and condolences that the school has received both in school and the wider community that Holly was much loved. She was a very talented girl and also very bright. Holly brought enormous joy and happiness to those who knew her very well and we are very much feeling that loss today.”

It was reported locally that Holly dreamed of becoming a ballet dancer and three years ago beat 250 other youngsters to win a starring role in Sleeping Beauty at the Grand Theatre, in Wolverhampton.

Staff and pupils at the school are now working together to support each other as they grieve for the 14-year-old, who has a twin sister also at the school.

Mr Donoghue said: “I think we are finding that a number of the students are finding comfort in the routine and structure that school provides. They wanted to be with their friends and to be able to talk to them, as well as the structure and other events that we have on at the school on a regular basis.

Touching tributes to Holly Brown have been left at the school gates

“We are aware that for some students this isn’t enough to help as they try to come to terms with what has happened. We have arrangements of a professional provider to support the students and colleagues and come in as a support system. This is a caring school community which is helping to support those at the school.

“For those involved, this support is not just today but it is moving forward. That may not be enough so we are looking very much at making sure those individuals are supported.”