Husband of murdered Leeds teacher '˜criticises review into the killing'

The husband of teacher Ann Maguire, who was murdered by a 15-year-old pupil, has reportedly criticised an official review into the killing.

Ann Maguire.
Ann Maguire.

Don Maguire told the BBC he felt the “bare minimum” had been done in producing the report that found her death could not have been predicted or pre-empted.

Mrs Maguire, 61, was celebrating her 40th year teaching at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds when she was stabbed during a Spanish lesson by Will Cornick.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The teenager had threatened to kill the mother of two in social media posts and told peers he also planned to murder his head of year and another teacher and her unborn baby.

Cornick was jailed for life with a minimum of 20 years after pleading guilty to the murder, which was the only time a teacher has been killed by a pupil in a UK school.

The report by independent reviewer Nick Page, who interviewed the teenager, concluded: “No individual other than Will Cornick should in any way feel responsible for Ann’s murder.”

However Mr Maguire told the Victoria Derbyshire programme that no-one was any better informed by the Learning Lessons Review.

Until all the circumstances of her death were fully appraised “it’s possible that lives could be at risk in British schools”, he said.

“This shouldn’t be about trying to make everything seem okay and hoping it doesn’t happen again.

“They’re going through all this time and expense to find partial answers to these questions. If we really want to learn and protect teachers and pupils we have to know every detail of this case.”

Mr Page’s review, released earlier this month, said there were no warning signs known to staff or other agencies before Cornick went to school on April 28 2014 armed with a craft knife and a kitchen knife and attacked his teacher.

He suggested there were a “number of suggested refinements to practice” at the school, but added: “This is in no way to suggest that if implemented previously, they would have prevented Ann’s murder.

“What is clear to me, as the reviewer, is that no one could have predicted or pre-empted Will Cornick’s attack on Ann Maguire.”

Mark Peel, independent chairman of the Leeds Safeguarding Children Board (LCSB), which commissioned the review, said he fully accepted the findings when the report was published.

Mr Maguire said the report should have been a “serious case review”, however the LSCB said these were only carried out when a child is the victim.

He said: “For a teacher to be murdered by a pupil in a classroom in the UK means it should be treated in the most serious of manners.

“These kind of learning lessons reviews are always done when terrible events happen, and the departments always say it could have been prevented but not predicted. It feels like they’ve done the bare minimum.”

The (LCSB) told the BBC that its report had been conducted by a well-qualified independent reviewer and the review was “in no way less credible than a serious case review”.

A full inquest into Mrs Maguire’s death is expected to take place in 2017.