Ann Maguire murder: 'Worrying' amount of school violence

Ann Maguire Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Ann Maguire had been a teacher at the school for 40 years

Ann Maguire is thought to be the first teacher to be murdered by a student in a British classroom.

She was stabbed repeatedly in front of a classroom of students at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds in April.

A 16-year-old boy has admitted murdering the 61-year-old.

Fatal attacks on school staff under any circumstance are extremely rare in the UK.

There are only two other examples of teachers being killed while at work in this country in the last 30 years.

Head teacher Philip Lawrence was stabbed to death in December 1995.

Dunblane massacre

The father-of-four was outside the gates of St George's Catholic School, in north-west London, trying to protect a 13-year-old boy, when he was attacked by a teenager from another school.

Gwen Mayor was murdered the following year - the first of Thomas Hamilton's 17 victims in the Dunblane massacre.

Mrs Mayor was shot six times by Hamilton as she tried to protect her class in the gym at Dunblane Primary School.

While the murder of a teacher is incredibly rare, statistics show classroom violence is an everyday occurrence - although the number of teachers suffering major injures seems to be falling.

Weapons confiscated

In July, BBC News reported there had been 93 assaults on staff by pupils in England per school day last year.

Figures released by the government showed there were 17,680 physical assaults by pupils against teaching staff between 2012 and 2013.

In December, a Freedom of Information request by the Sun on Sunday found that there were 10,000 attacks in 2011/12 and 10,750 in 2012/13 in the 70 local authorities which replied.

Image caption Hundreds of floral tributes were left outside Mrs Maguire's school

This research revealed that children as young as four were involved in violence and teachers reported assaults including being headbutted, stabbed in the arm with a pencil and punched.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT), said in reaction to the Sun on Sunday figures: "The increase in the number of incidents of violence is extremely worrying."

Police figures gathered by Sky News earlier this year showed that since 2011, 981 students had had weapons confiscated, including 80 primary school children.

One of these was an eight-year-old caught with a knife.

The data from 31 of the UK's 52 police forces showed a total of 36 children were found with guns of various types, including two handguns.

The latest HSE statistics show that in 2012/13, 26 school staff suffered "non-fatal major injuries" due to physical assault. But this was down from 31 in 2011/12 and 56 in 2010/11.

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