A HOLMES Chapel schoolgirl has died following Monday night’s attack at Manchester Arena.

Nell Jones, 14 and from Goostrey, was one of a number of Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School students to attend the Ariana Grande concert on Monday, May 22.

Nell’s school has today paid tribute to a ‘bright’ and ‘popular’ girl.

Headteacher Denis Oliver said: “It is with great sadness that we reflect on the loss of Nell Jones from our school community. It has now been confirmed that Nell lost her life in the Manchester bombing on Monday evening.

“Nell’s family have been searching for her since the incident in the hope that they would find her being cared for in hospital. Unfortunately, the police have now confirmed that Nell died at the scene.

“We have now informed the whole of the school community through assemblies in which the students and their teachers reflected together on memories of Nell and shared their grief together.

“We are all devastated by the loss and as a school community we must now come to terms with what has happened. Nell was a very bright and popular student.

“Over the coming days we will give everyone ample opportunity to pass on their memories of Nell. In the meantime we will be providing professional support to children, staff and parents as necessary.

“The wellbeing of all of the children within our close school community is now our number one priority.

“I have met with Mr and Mrs Jones this morning and offered our sincere condolences on behalf of everyone at our school. I cannot imagine the loss they must feel.

“Nell’s family are devastated by the news and have asked that they be allowed to come to terms with their loss in private.”

Nell’s form tutor David Wheeler said: “Nell was a very popular girl, always smiling, always positive. Her tutor group have been together since the transition from primary school. It feels like they have lost a sister not a classmate”

Members of Nell’s family raised the alarm on Monday morning, searching on foot in Manchester after being unable to contact her. It was confirmed on Wednesday morning that she had not survived.

The attack, a suicide bomb in the foyer of the city centre arena just after the concert finished around 10.30pm, killed 22 and left 59 needing hospital treatment.

One of those requiring treatment was Freya Lewis, a Holmes Chapel student who had attended the concert with Nell. Freya was pulled from the arena by Phil and Kim Dick, a couple from Bradford, after she ‘staggered’ and ‘collapsed’ into their arms.

Freya’s dad Nick Lewis said: “Our situation is impossible to describe, but the amazing support that everyone has shown us has been breathtaking.

“After ten and a half hours in surgery she is stable. The staff at the hospital have been incredible.

“Freya has been sewn, bolted, drilled and bandaged back together. It is going to be a long climb but we are on the first step. We really know how much you all care.

“Our priority now is to concentrate on our children and to make sense of what has happened. We have some very personal conversations to have with people we had ever met until what seems just a few hours ago and thank you feels so inadequate.

“We are working closely with the Freya’s school and are therefore asking for everyone to please respect our privacy as a family.”

Holmes Chapel pupils and their families are being offered support by the school.