England

Ann Maguire stabbing: Teacher due to retire

  • 29 April 2014
  • From the section England
Ann Maguire
Ann Maguire was treated by paramedics at the scene

A teacher who was stabbed to death in front of her pupils was due to retire in September, the school has said.

Ann Maguire, 61, died from multiple stab wounds suffered in the attack at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds on Monday.

Head teacher Steve Mort said Mrs Maguire had been the "mother of the school" and "the calm in the storm" for 40 years.

A 15-year-old boy remains in custody at a police station in the city.

Mr Mort said about 30 students were "in the vicinity" when the attack happened.

He said they were receiving intensive support and some of their parents had been invited into the school.

Chair of governors Martin Dowling said Mrs Maguire had already gone down to working a four-day week ahead of her retirement.

He said the stabbing was a "tragic but isolated incident" and there had been "no indications at all" it would happen.

The school has remained open and pupils and staff are being offered specialist support.

'Wonderful teacher'

Mr Dowling said there was a "calm and reverent" atmosphere at the school.

"The children have been absolutely amazing this morning. We've had assemblies, services and the children have responded in a magnificent manner, as have the staff also," he told a press conference.

He said it would be "very difficult" for the school to move on as Mrs Maguire was a "very popular and long-serving member of staff".

"Ann was a wonderful, dedicated teacher and will be remembered fondly by all of us," he said.

"She had taught at Corpus Christi for 40 years and touched the lives of many people in the local community, having also taught the parents of some of our current pupils."

Many tributes have been left outside the school
Corpus Christi School head teacher Steve Mort, and the school's head boy and head girl laid flowers in honour of Ann Maguire
Ann Maguire with former pupil Joseph Kilbride
Police were on patrol at Corpus Christi Catholic College on Tuesday morning

Earlier on Tuesday, some of Mrs Maguire's former pupils attended Mass at Corpus Christi Church, which is connected to the school.

Many were in tears as the 150-strong congregation was led in prayers by Monsignor Paul Fisher.

One student said going into school had given them the support from peers and teachers they needed to cope with the tragedy.

Another added: "It was really depressing but it gave us some normality and taught us what a community we are."

Scores of bouquets have been left outside the school, where a constant stream of people continued to pay tribute.

'Never gave up'

Mr Mort said he last spoke to Mrs Maguire on Monday morning after a staff briefing.

"She was enjoying the latter end of her career although I know, to Ann, that her service to Corpus Christi was not a career. She considered it to be a vocation."

The school had been "overwhelmed" by the support it had received from the local community.

"Ann was first and foremost highly aspirational for all our students, regardless of their background or ability," he said.

"She never gave up on pupils, even at times when they had given up on themselves.

"She'd touched the hearts of three generations of pupils. She was an inspiration, not only to the pupils but to the staff of the school."

Det Supt Simon Beldon, of West Yorkshire Police, said a post-mortem examination showed Mrs Maguire died from multiple stab wounds.

He said the teenage suspect would be questioned by officers "at some point during today".

"Given his young age, this is a process which needs to be handled very sensitively, and may take some time to complete," he added.

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