A transgender teacher has been praised for her courage and popularity by staff and pupils at a secondary school in Essex ahead of her transition this summer.

The unnamed teacher had formerly been living as a man and pupils were told this week that she would be returning in the autumn following transition to live as a woman.

The head teacher of the grammar school in Chelmsford said in a letter to parents that she was a ‘greatly loved’ and ‘inspirational’ educator, the Independent reports.

A sixth former at the school confirmed to the paper that she was a “really popular” teacher among the student body, who have been given information on gender dysphoria.

Head Tom Sherrington’s letter read: “In making the transition [the teacher] will now be able to live the life that she has always known to be consistent with her true gender identity.

“I would like to acknowledge [the teacher’s] courage in deciding to go through the transition process.

“I know that the school community will support her to ensure that she makes a great success of her ongoing career with us.

“Without doubt she will continue to be greatly loved and admired as the truly inspirational teacher that she is.”

It continues: “Clearly, it is of great importance that [the teacher] is allowed to return to work without fear of prejudice, intolerance or harassment.

“As you would expect, we will not tolerate any harassment of any kind, be that within the school, outside its gates, through online forums and social media or on school trips.”

In a formal statement, the school added: “King Edward VI Grammar School is proud of its commitment to equality and diversity among its staff and students.

“We support them all, we treat them with respect and have due regard for their privacy and wellbeing at all times, regardless of their age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.”