A much-loved teacher who was knifed to death in front of pupils was just months away from retiring.

Martin Dowling, chair of governors at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds, said Spanish teacher Ann Maguire, 61, was due to retire in September and had been working only four days a week.

A 15-year-old boy remains in custody after Mrs Maguire was fatally injured at the school on Monday morning.

Speaking at a press conference outside the school, Mr Dowling said the stabbing was a “tragic but isolated incident” and there had been “no indications at all” that it would happen.

“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.”

 

Teachers in Huddersfield were left stunned by the savage attack and said it was “beyond belief”.

Hazel Danson, of the Kirklees branch of the National Union of Teachers, said: “No-one could expect anything like this to ever happen and you cannot legislate for it.

“It is a tragedy for the school, the staff and the whole community, as it would be if anyone went to work in any situation and never came home.

“What has been gratifying in the aftermath of such an awful tragedy is the number of people who have paid tribute not only to Mrs Maguire but to so many other teachers.

“It shows they can leave an impression across the generations””.

A Huddersfield teacher who works for a supply agency said she had been threatened in a classroom by a teenage pupil while working in Sheffield.

She said: “I broke down in tears when I got home. It was such as awful thing to happen”.

Detective Superintendent Simon Beldon, of West Yorkshire Police, confirmed that Mrs Maguire died from multiple stab wounds.

He said the teenager will be questioned by officers and said: “Given his young age, this is a process which needs to be handled very sensitively, and may take some time to complete.

“The pupils who witnessed this incident are still being interviewed by specialist officers who are very experienced in dealing with child witnesses and will ensure that their safety is paramount.

“This is clearly an unprecedented and tragic incident which has left the school and wider community in a state of shock.”

Mrs Maguire’s death is thought to be the first time a teacher has been stabbed to death in a British classroom, and the first killing of a teacher in a school since the 1996 Dunblane massacre.

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