Family of murdered teacher Ann Maguire call for independent inquiry

The family of Ann Maguire, a teacher who was killed by a student in her classroom last year, has called for a full independent inquiry into her murder in a bid to prevent other tragedies in the future.

Ms Maguire’s husband, Don, wants the relevant public bodies to open a full review into her killing to see if more could have been done to prevent her death, while teaching at the Corpus Christi College in Leeds.

Ms Maguire had taught at the school for 40 years and was coming up to retirement when she was stabbed to death by a student in front of her class, as she was helping them prepare for their exams.

The family is taking initial steps to get the inquiry underway, and has set up a crowdfunding website in an attempt to raise the funds necessary to employ legal experts to secure a review.

They have already met with the education secretary Nicky Morgan to make a clear request for an inquiry and hope that such a move will help prevent similar tragedies from taking place in the future.

Mr Maguire said that due to a guilty plea, no criminal trial took place and a further request for the Leeds Safeguarding and Children’s Board to hold a serious case review was later declined. Instead a local review was imitated by the council.

“There needs to be a greater understanding and this local review doesn’t even acknowledge Ann’s murder as a “serious” case,” Mr Maguire said.

“Ann always believed in standing up for what you believe to be just and right.

“We believe that a comprehensive, open and independent statutory review examining all the information is crucial to learning lessons from this horrific incident which took place in front of many other pupils in school, traumatising pupils and staff and devastating our family. We want documents and evidence to be examined in order that steps can be taken to prevent anything like this happening again,” he added.

Another teacher was stabbed at the Dixons Kings Academy in Braford in June this year, but the victim, Vincent Uzomah, survived.

William “Will” Cornick was 15 when he committed the murder in front of a class full of his fellow pupils. He was jailed for life with a minimum of 20 years at Leeds Crown Court in November last year. Due to his guilty plea, no criminal trial took place to examine all of the evidence.

Ms Maguire, who was recognised for her services to education at the 2014 TES Awards, was described as the “mother of the school” by students of the school both past and present.

The family’s campaign also has the backing of specialist public lawyers at national firm Irwin Mitchell, which said there was a “strong legal basis for the independent investigation”.

“The current local proposed ‘desk top’ review does not meet the severity of the issues at stake in this case,” Yogi Amin, head of public law at Irwin Mitchell, said. “Ann’s family are seeking total openness. They want, and deserve, to know exactly what happened not only on the day but in the time leading up to the horrific attack. It is imperative that steps be taken to instigate a thorough independent investigation that looks at all the evidence, to ensure that lessons are learnt.”

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