‘Totally committed’ Forest Gate teacher loses cancer battle

PUBLISHED: 13:08 21 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:24 21 August 2017

Sham Uddin, right, with Newham Council's director of children and young people's services, James Thomas

Sham Uddin, right, with Newham Council's director of children and young people's services, James Thomas


A selfless teacher, who continued to work despite having incurable stomach cancer and only weeks to live, has died.

Sham Uddin, 38, who was Forest Gate Community School’s (FGCS) assistant headteacher, lost her cancer battle on Monday, August 14 after a period of illness.

The sad news was confirmed in a statement from the Forest Lane school by headteacher Simon Elliott.

He wrote: “We are very sorry to let all of the school community know that Ms Uddin died on Monday after a period of illness.

“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time.

“Ms Uddin was totally committed to FGCS and her contribution to making the school what it is today has been immense.

“We will be celebrating her life on our return to school in September.”

Tributes to Sham have already started pouring in on social media sites.

On Facebook, Jan Tallis wrote: “Such a wonderful teacher and leader, she was an inspiration and will be sorely missed.”

Meanwhile, Kauser Patel wrote: “I’m come visit to school tell the students that how she was there for me.”

Sham’s dedication to her students saw her return to teaching in September 2016.

When she was diagnosed with incurable stomach cancer one year prior, she was given just weeks to live but refused to give up life in the classroom.

At the time she said: “I should be in a hospice preparing to die but instead I have an office, a classroom and a load of pupils depending on me. I can’t let them down.

“If you listen to the doctors then, no, I shouldn’t be here right now. But I am and if I can teach one more child, change one more life, then it is all worth it.”

Sham was subsequently nominated for a Jack Petchey Award for outstanding leadership which she received at the 02 in September last year.

Simon said of his assistant head: “Sham isn’t just a one in a million teacher, she is a one in a million human being.”

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