Friday 15 November 2019

School remembers murdered Irish teacher Ann Maguire (61)

Ann Maguire
Ann Maguire

A school where a much-loved teacher was murdered by one of her students says it is marking the first anniversary in a "private and dignified way".

Staff and students of Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds are coming together today to remember Ann Maguire, 61, who was stabbed to death as she taught a Spanish lesson on April 28 last year.

A spokesman said they planned to mark the occasion with a Mass in remembrance of Mrs Maguire's life.

He said the service would mark "the contribution that she made to the lives of the generations of children that she taught throughout her 40-year career".

Following the Mass, staff and students will observe a one-minute silence, which will conclude with the release of prayers for Mrs Maguire, giving thanks for her life and as a mark of respect to her and her family.

These will be attached to 250 purple and gold balloons, in keeping with school colours, the spokesman said.

Mrs Maguire, who was due to retire last September, was stabbed seven times by pupil Will Cornick.

Cornick was 15-years-old at the time.

He was jailed for life and told he must serve a minimum of 20 years behind bars by a judge at Leeds Crown Court.

The judge said although he could apply for parole after 20 years, ''it's quite possible that day may never come".

Cornick attacked Mrs Maguire after boasting to friends that he was going to kill her.

After the killing, he told psychiatrists that he ''couldn't give a shit'' and added: ''Everything I've done is fine and dandy.''

The Crown Court heard that Cornick winked at another boy before he launched into a savage assault in front of a terrified class full of pupils.

Mrs Maguire was left with stab wounds that the paramedic who attended said were the worst she had ever seen, including one wound which went straight through her neck and another that cut her jugular vein.

Despite the injuries caused by the eight-inch-long kitchen knife, she managed to leave the classroom, pursued by the teenager, until a colleague bundled her into a room and held the door shut.

The judge heard that Cornick, who pleaded guilty to murder, never showed any remorse and had since spoken of his pride in what he had done.

Steve Mort, headteacher of Corpus Christi Catholic College, said: " Today will be a difficult day for all those whose lives were touched by Ann, and our whole school community will remember her family and friends in our prayers.

"We will mark the day in school in a private and dignified manner, and will support one another as we have done throughout the past year.

"We continue to feel Ann's loss in school, and the past 12 months have been very difficult at times. I am, however, extremely proud of the resilience and strength shown by both staff and students as we have sought to come to terms with what happened.

"My colleagues worked hard to maintain a sense of normality for our students in the aftermath of last April, and it is a tribute to their professionalism and dedication that this was achieved.

"Our students achieved the college's best ever GCSE results last summer, demonstrating a collective determination to do the best they possibly could in Ann's memory. We were all extremely proud of their achievements.

"As a school, we remain focused on our work to raise standards and attainment across the college, and to support all of our young people to achieve their full potential. We have all drawn great strength and comfort from knowing that this was Ann's life's work."

Mr Mort said that with the Maguire family's blessing, staff and students are currently discussing some form of permanent memorial to Mrs Maguire to be positioned somewhere at the school.

Belfast Telegraph

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