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Teacher kills herself at village primary school

  • @robhastings

A headteacher is believed to have committed suicide by hanging herself in her office at a village primary school during a staff training day.

The body of Helen Mann, a 43-year-old mother of two, was found by a work colleague at Sytchampton Endowed First School in Worcestershire on Monday afternoon. Ms Mann, who was pronounced dead at the scene, had been in her job just six months.

Ms Mann's father-in-law, Kenneth Mann, told the local newspaper that the police are interviewing her husband, Philip Mann, 48, about why she may have killed herself.

"Phil is out talking to the police at the moment but we are all devastated. It has come completely out of the blue, we would never have expected anything like this," he told the Worcester News. "We understand she took her own life. We don't know the exact circumstances but we are all deeply shocked and saddened.

"Helen had only started work at the school in the summer. We had no idea this was going to happen. We are all just absolutely heartbroken. She was just the loveliest person, so nice to everyone. They have two wonderful sons who she loved so much."

There were no children at the school at the time of her death, thought to have been at 4:20pm, and the Sytchampton Endowed will remain closed while investigations continue.

The school, which has 109 pupils aged between five and nine years old, reportedly informed parents about the news of what it called a "serious incident" via text message.

The school's chairwoman of governors, Stephanie Gait, said in a statement: "It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of our head teacher, Helen Mann. We offer our deepest sympathy to Helen's family, friends and colleagues. We have taken the decision to close school today and tomorrow and are working with the local authority to provide support to staff and pupils."