Bethany Adcock, 14, was taken to Sheffield Children’s Hospital after she was found at her home in the city, although paramedics battled in vain to save her life.
The teenager, who lived in the Greenhill district of Sheffield, was a pupil at the city’s Meadowhead School. Headteacher Catherine James has sent a letter to parents informing them of the “tragic accident” and counselling is also being offered to pupils who have been affected by the death.
In the letter, Ms James said: “The school has experienced the sudden death of Bethany Adcock. We are deeply saddened by her death, Bethany was a Year 10 student, popular and friendly.
“Her sudden death is a tragic accident but it will obviously have an impact on the whole school, in particular those who were her friends and knew her well.
“We have support structures in place to help your child cope with the tragedy. Counsellors are available to support your child if they feel they need it.
“I have taken assemblies with all year groups and explained people grieve very differently and have given advice about how this should be handled.
“In the case of sudden death the police investigate thoroughly and I have informed our students such a process will take place.”
She added: “It is not helpful for students to gossip or speculate or use Facebook and other social networking sites in a manner which adds distress to Bethany’s family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bethany’s family.”
Neighbours revealed that as a child Bethany had to battle to overcome meningitis. Bouquets of flowers were laid by Bethany’s friends near to Meadowhead School and friends flooded social networking sites with tributes and a website set up in her memory had more than 100 friends signed up.
One girl Tayla, who described herself as a best friend, left a message saying: “You were beautiful inside and out. You will be missed by many and you will never be forgotten.
“You’ve been my best friend for ages and I don’t know how I’m gonna get through life without you. You’re in a better place now so sleep tight baby girl. Sending love to your family.”
Another friend, called Lacy, said: “I hope you sleep well and wake up near the stars with a smile. You’re a girl who will never be forgotten. You always knew how to make us smile and laugh – your memories will remain with us just as much as you will remain in our hearts.
“Everyone has shed a tear which shows you were truly loved. You’ll be in a safe place and I know many people that will be taking care of you up there. We loved you, our beautiful angel.”
Another friend, Taylor, said he was texting Bethany just before she fell ill, and added: “She was one of my best girl mates. I could trust her with my life and now she’s gone. I was texting her just before she did it.”
Tia, who also described Bethany as her best friend, said: “Rest in peace baby girl – you’re loved by so many people. You were so pretty and couldn’t live without your make-up. You were beautiful in every way. You’re my bestest friend and I don’t know how I’m going to live without you. I wish I could bring you back because everyone misses you.”
Another friend, Jenna, added: “We shared some amazing memories and I’m lucky to have you as a good friend but you left us far too early. When I found out what happened my heart just went cold – I’m speechless. Life can’t go on without our little Beth’s smile. Your smile will light up the sky.”
While an investigation is under way to establish the exact circumstances of the teenager’s death on Tuesday, a South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman confirmed it is not being treated as suspicious.
A post-mortem examination was performed on Thursday, although the results have yet to be released.