Headteacher found hanged in office

By Tim Clarke Friday 09 November 2012 Updated: 16/11 11:14

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

DEVASTATED pupils and staff have returned to a village school just days after their headteacher was found hanged in her office.

The body of Helen Mann, 43, from Droitwich, was discovered by a colleague at Sytchampton Endowed First School, near Ombersley, shortly after 4.20pm on Monday (November 5).

It is understood Mrs Mann, who had been in the post less than six months, had just returned to work after a period off sick.

Yesterday (Thursday) pupils returned to school for the first time since the death of the mother of two, who leaves a husband, Phil, and two young sons George, 13, and Jack, ten.

Her devasted father-in-law Kenneth Mann paid tribute and 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

Parents were invited to attend a meeting on Wednesday night where they were able to seek support and put their questions to educational psychologists, county council staff, teachers and the school's governors.

John Edwards, the 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. We also welcome support from a headteacher from a local school who is able to offer help to the school leadership team in the short term."

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.

West Midlands Ambulance Service, along with a rapid response vehicle, a BASICS doctor and a paramedic were called to the school on the A449 after a member of staff discovered her body but she was confirmed dead at the scene.

A spokesman for West Mercia Police said: "Officers are investigating the death, which is being treated as unexplained but is not believed to be suspicious and they are compiling a report that will be passed to the Worcestershire Coroner."

The school, which caters for 109 pupils aged five to nine, achieved two 'outstanding' Ofsted reports following inspections in 2006 and 2009. Mrs Mann took up her post from the start of the summer term.

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