Hereford & Worcester

Head teacher Helen Mann dead at Sytchampton School

Helen Mann
Image caption The school has been closed while investigations continue into the death

A head teacher has been discovered dead at her school in Worcestershire.

Helen Mann's body was found at Sytchampton Endowed First School, near Stourport-on-Severn, at 16:20 GMT on Monday, during a teacher training day.

The BBC understands mother-of-two Mrs Mann, who took up the post about six months ago, took her own life.

The school governors said the school, which caters for children aged five to nine, would re-open on Thursday.

The county council said there were no children in the 90-pupil school on Monday.

Mrs Mann was married with two sons and lived in Worcester.

As head teacher, she had been leading the training day.

Police and ambulance staff were called but Mrs Mann was confirmed dead at the scene.

Speaking to the Worcester News, her father-in-law Kenneth Mann said the family understood she had "taken her own life".

He said: "We don't know the exact circumstances but we are all deeply shocked and saddened."

'Great sadness'

He said his daughter-in-law, who he described as "just the loveliest person", had only started work at the school in the summer.

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Media captionDr Stephanie Gait, the school's chairwoman of governors, said support would be given to staff and pupils.

The school is based in the hamlet of Sytchampton, between Stourport-on-Severn and Ombersley.

BBC reporter Ben Sidwell said it was a small school in a "very close-knit" community where the teacher's death had caused much sadness and shock.

Dr Stephanie Gait, chairwoman of governors at the school, said: "It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of our head teacher, Helen Mann."

She said the governors offered their "deepest sympathy" to family, friends and colleagues, and added that the school would be working with the local authority to provide support to staff and pupils.

A West Mercia Police spokesman said: "Officers are investigating the death, which is being treated as unexplained but is not believed to be suspicious, and they are compiling a report that will be passed to the Worcestershire coroner."

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