Tributes to former Millfields deputy Helen Mann

By Tristan Harris Thursday 08 November 2012 Updated: 12/11 15:30

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Buy photos » Helen Mann is understood to have been found hanged at Sytchampton Endowed First School. (s)

TRIBUTES have been paid to the former deputy headteacher of Bromsgrove's Millfields First School who took her own life at the school where she is now the head.

Helen Mann was found hanged in her office at Sytchampton Endowed First School, near Ombersley, less than six months into her new job.

The body of the 43-year-old, who was Millfields' deputy head for almost four years, was found by a member of staff, shortly after 4.20pm on Monday (November 5).

Her devastated father-in-law Kenneth Mann said he understood Mrs Mann - who has two sons, George, 13, and Jack, ten - had taken her own life.

He said: "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."

Millfields' headteacher Paul Gibbs expressed his and the school's deep shock and sadness.

He said: "She was an extremely hard-working, dedicated teacher who always had the children’s best interests at heart.

"We would like to send our heartfelt condolences to her family at this very sad time."

The Standard's Facebook page has also been inundated with tributes to Mrs Mann from parents of children who attended

Millfields and other schools where she had taught.

Julie Lynch said: "So sad. She was such a brilliant teacher and a lovely person."

Gemma Hatton, added: "She was a brilliant teacher, she did so much for my son, she was his teacher a couple of years ago and a big part of his life.

"So many children have so much to thank her for - she will be missed and remembered by so many."

And Ruth Allan posted: "RIP Mrs Mann. Such sad news and I know my daughter loved having her as her teacher.

"My thoughts are with her family, colleagues and friends."

According to a parent who contacted The Standard, a teacher training day had taken place on the day her body was found while a number of pupils were also involved in a holiday club in the school hall.

Sytchampton Endowed First School was closed on Tuesday and Wednesday and reopened yesterday (Thursday).

John Edwards, Worcestershire County Council's head of learning and achievement, said "During this sad and difficult time, the local authority has been working closely to support staff and the school community.

"Senior officers including educational psychologists are in school today working to ensure support is in place for both pupils and staff over the coming days."

► Bromsgrove's St John's Church will be open during the day today (Friday) for people to pay their respects to Helen Mann. There is also a service there for her at 4pm.

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