A new trust has been launched to raise funds in memory of Yavneh College’s founding headteacher Dr Dena Coleman.

The announcement came during a tribute evening to the  leading educator who passed away aged 60 last June, three days after being hospitalised with suspected meningococcal disease.

Described by the former Chief Rabbi as “one of the truly great Jewish educators of our time”, the former Hasmonean High School head had been due to retire the following month.

The current Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis led the tributes and a video of personal and poignant recollections from the pupils was played during Sunday’s memorial evening to an audience of 450, including MP James Clappison and the Mayor of Hertsmere.

The event saw the Yavneh College Singers performed the school song, which was a favourite of Dr Coleman, before guests were told about the Dena Coleman Memorial Trust.

Yavneh headteacher Spencer Lewis said: “It was a very moving, dignified evening in which we were able to appropriately remember and pay tribute to a wonderful colleague, friend and leader. Dr Coleman was much loved and respected not only by those at Yavneh College but by people from across the community and from the world of education. She is sadly missed.”