UK & World News

  • 28 April 2014, 22:06

Teacher Stabbed To Death At Leeds School

A teenage pupil has been arrested after a female teacher was stabbed to death in front of other students at a secondary school in Leeds.

Police say the 15-year-old is being held in connection with the attack at Corpus Christi Catholic College.

Anne Maguire, aged 61, who taught Spanish and was a head of year at the school, was stabbed repeatedly in her classroom while around 30 pupils looked on.

Officers were called to the school at 11.48am after a report a member of staff had been stabbed. A knife has been recovered by police at the scene.

Chief Superintendent Paul Money said the teacher suffered a number of stab wounds and was taken to hospital for treatment, but subsequently pronounced dead.

"A 15-year-old male pupil from the school was detained at the scene by other members of teaching staff immediately after the incident occurred," he said.

"The alarm was raised by students in the school, some of whom witnessed the offence. There were a number of stab wounds to the lady in question."

He added that pupils were "in a state of shock" following the tragedy and would receive counselling from specially trained professionals.

Katie Gallagher, 15, said she was in a nearby room when Mrs Maguire was stabbed.

"I heard her scream. I was in a meeting at the time but I heard it."

She said the incident happened in a normal Spanish class in front of around 30 children. Everyone in her class burst into tears when they were told about the teacher's death.

Pupil Georgina Kilroy, 16, said Mrs Maguire had been a teacher for 40 years.

"I don't know anyone who didn't like her. She was spot on. You couldn't ask for a better teacher."

Georgina said her teacher broke down when she told the children the news. She said they were previously told a teacher had gone to hospital but that lessons had continued.

Members of the local community later attended a mass in Mrs Maguire's memory at nearby Corpus Christi Catholic Church.

Prime Minister David Cameron described the killing as "profoundly shocking and absolutely appalling".

"All our thoughts are with the teacher's family, with the school, with all the pupils who study there," he said.

Pupils and former pupils have also been paying tribute to the teacher on social media, with one describing her as an "inspirational woman" and saying she "wouldn't have made it through high school without her".

Meanwhile, Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: "This is a truly awful thing to have happened to a teacher in the course of her work to educate the next generation.

"Appalling events like this are thankfully very rare indeed but the death of any teacher in her place of work, which should be a place of safety, is devastating. Our condolences go to the family and friends of this teacher, and to students and colleagues at the school.

There are nearly 1,000 pupils on the roll aged between 11 and 16, according to the school's website, which also says it has a "strong Christian ethos".

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