Veteran teacher stabbed to death at Leeds Corpus Christi school

Students and teachers united in grief as they pay tribute to Anne Maguire

Mon, Apr 28, 2014, 21:00

Students and teachers in a Leeds school have united in grief following the killing of popular teacherAnne Maguire (61) today.

The Lancashire-born teacher was stabbed in front of a classroom full of pupils in Corpus Christi Catholic College on Neville Road – she died on her way to hospital. A 15-year-old boy, a pupil in the school, was arrested and is expected to face charges over her death .

The alarm was raised before noon . Chief Sup t Paul Money of West Yorkshire police said the youth had been brought to the ground by some of Mrs Maguire’s fellow teachers before police and paramedics arrived.

Pupils still visibly shocked gathered outside the school’s gates . Police commanders, who are running a murder inquiry, have drafted in specially trained officers to take statements from them.

By evening time the numbers had swelled with former pupils and parents coming to join those still at the school, where groups stood hugging each other, still not believing such an incident could have happened.

Social media was used by many of the children to praise Ms Maguire, who taught Spanish and religious education . One described her as “a legend” and a “lovely lady”, while another said her death was “absolutely horrifying”.

Former pupil Aine Arnold (17) came to the school to lay flowers, saying: “It’s more like losing a family member than losing a teacher. As long as we were happy, she was happy. She would do anything for you.

“She helped me personally a lot. She’s going to be such a loss to the school. Hers were one of those lessons you didn’t want to miss. She was just lovely. She was wonderful. I am devastated.”

Teachers’ unions tonight said a full investigation would have to be carried out, but warned that serious questions about the safety of teachers in classrooms now exist in the wake of the killing — the first in England of a teacher in 20 years .

Almost 600 children in England alone have been permanently expelled from school because of attacks on teachers, while almost 1,000 more have been expelled because of attacks upon fellow students.

Over £20m was paid out in compensation last year to teachers in England, including one teacher in the West Midlands who received injuries to her face, head, neck, arm and shoulder after she tried to break up a fight.

The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers said lessons would have to be learned . G eneral secretary Chris Keates said: “Our thoughts are with Anne Maguire’s family and with the staff, pupils and whole college community at Corpus Christi Catholic College.

“Occurrences such as this are extremely rare, but this is cold comfort to families who have lost a loved one, staff who have lost a friend and colleague and pupils who have lost a dedicated teacher,” she said.

“This is shocking, devastating news. Schools are close knit communities and the next few weeks and months will be incredibly difficult as they try to come to terms with what has happened,” said Mr Lightman, leader of the Association of School and College Leaders.

Offering his sympathies, British prime minister David Cameron said: “My thoughts are with the family of Anne Maguire, as well as the staff and pupils of Corpus Christi school, where she was stabbed to death.”

A police officer who is based at the Yorkshire school for several days each week during term-time was not on duty today. The school is not equipped with metal detectors to reduce knife crime.