A difficult day as Ann is remembered

The balloon release in memory of Ann Maguire at Corpus Christi Catholic College
The balloon release in memory of Ann Maguire at Corpus Christi Catholic College

A SCHOOL where a much-loved teacher was murdered by one of her students marked the first anniversary in a “private and dignified way”.

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

Ann Maguire

Ann Maguire

A mass was held in remembrance of Mrs Maguire’s life, to 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 observed a one-minute silence, which concluded 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 were attached to 250 purple and gold balloons, in keeping with school colours.

This week, Mrs Maguire’s sister, Denise Courtney, asked that the popular teacher be remembered throughout Wigan as well.

She said: “We know there will be lots of people in her hometown who would like to remember Ann, especially this week with it being a year on.

“If people could light a candle in Ann’s name, visit the park to sign the book of condolence or find their own way to remember her it would be appreciated by the family.

“We would like to think that Ann will be included in prayers and thoughts this week in her hometown and across the country.”

Steve Mort, headteacher of Corpus Christi Catholic College, said: “It has been 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 marked 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 were currently discussing some form of permanent memorial to Mrs Maguire to be positioned somewhere at the school.

Mrs Maguire 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.