TRIBUTES have been paid to Preston Lodge High School modern studies and history teacher Emma Liddle who has died from sepsis, aged 39.

Husband Adam described his wife as “a great person” and praised her commitment to helping others through teaching, her previous work in the voluntary sector, and in the community where the mum-of-two lived.

He said: “She was amazing. Her best quality – and possibly her worst – was she always put other people before herself.

“She was always thinking of how she could help others and improve things for other people. She never put her own priorities first.

“Emma was very kind and very intelligent: she read a lot and was really well educated. She was always on the side of the marginalised, keen on promoting equality and social justice and was very proud to go out and put that into practice throughout the community. She was a great person.”

Emma and Adam, 41,  had been together for 21 years – sharing the same birthday, March 25 – before tying the knot in 2006 on Emma’s family’s farm in Aberdeenshire.

They have two young sons: six-year-old George and Roscoe, who is 17 months. Emma’s entire career was spent supporting young people.

She dedicated 13 years working for sexual health and relationships charity Caledonia Youth, becoming the Education Lead for the organisation.

Following the winding up of the charity, Emma undertook a Post Graduate Diploma in Education and began training to become a high school teacher.

She worked part-time at Prestonpans’ Preston Lodge High School and Edinburgh’s Kaimes Academy, which helps youngsters with Autistic Spectrum Disorder to thrive.

Emma, of Portobello, who organised collections for Edinburgh’s Towerbank Primary School foodbank during the festive period, also set up the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) group at Preston Lodge High School.

She worked at the school as an NQT (newly qualified teacher) in 2015 before starting permanently the following year.

Her husband said: “She loved it at Preston Lodge.

“She started off there when she was doing her post-graduate diploma and she did a placement there and she loved it.

“She clicked with the staff in the faculty there and loved the school and loved the kids. She was always keen to go back there.”

Adam, who works as a sustainability consultant, said his wife had no underlying health issues and described her as “a happy, healthy 39-year-old”.

He added: “It was a severe form of sepsis that she died from. There is not much more to say. We don’t know where it came from, how it got into her body or what caused it.”

Emma passed away on March 17; a small funeral service was held at Seafield Crematorium, Edinburgh, last Wednesday (April 1).

Adam is planning for a larger gathering, which would be attended by family, friends and colleagues, once coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

He said: “We were allowed about 20 people at the funeral and it was immediate family and a handful of close friends.

“It is just unfortunate because she was involved in so many things.

“She was an active member of the Labour party, the EIS union and various clubs at the school.

“Ordinarily, we would have had friends from all those groups and previous careers.”

Various members of staff and pupils at the secondary school have been in touch with Adam to offer their condolences.

An online memory book has also been set up for staff and pupils to pay their own tribute while a number of post-it notes featuring poignant messages were included in the school’s newsletter.

Some of the touching messages include: “Thank you for everything, you were the nicest teacher ever” and “I wish I could have thanked her for all of her help over the last year. An amazing teacher, who cared so much for every single student, no matter what.”

Gavin Clark, headteacher at Preston Lodge High School, said: “We were rocked when we received news of the unexpected death of our friend and colleague, Emma Liddle.

“Everyone has worked together so impressively to come to terms with this news and I would like to thank everyone for their support. Emma was an extraordinary woman, whose commitment to our students was truly inspiring. We will take proper time to acknowledge her contribution to the school and its community when current challenges ease.”

Tributes can be left at

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