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Deputy coroner says Worcestershire teacher Helen Mann took her own life
A HEADTEACHER who killed herself at her Worcestershire school has been described as the "nicest, kindest and most dedicated person you could ever meet".
Phil Mann made the comments about his wife Helen shortly after a coroner said she was satisfied the 43-year-old took her own life.
Mrs Mann had been head of Sytchampton Endowed First School for just over six months when she was found dead on November 5 last year - her first day back from sick leave.
“She was always there for her family and her work, which were her whole life,” said Mr Mann.
He said his wife worked in a number of other Worcestershire schools, including St Kenelm’s Primary School in Romsley, St Peter’s First School in Droitwich and Millfields First School in Bromsgrove.
“Over her long teaching career she has impressed many children, parents and colleagues with her hard work and devotion to improving a child’s education,” he added in a statement following the inquest in Stourport.
“Her devotion continued outside of school as most weekends were occupied with boys’ rugby at Worcester RFC, boys’ football with Worcester Colts and boys’ cricket with Old Elizabethans CC.
“She was always an involved parent offering help with organisation, lifts and admin which was always gratefully received.”
Colleagues at the school had told the inquest that Mrs Mann had taken on too much too soon and was troubled by a forthcoming employment tribunal.
Days before her death she had taken an overdose of sleeping pills before phoning her husband to say she’d “done something silly”.
Deputy county coroner Marguerite Elcock said there was no doubt Mrs Mann was a dedicated and professional teacher who set immensely high standards of herself.
“Her commitment to her profession was evident throughout this hearing,” said Mrs Elcock.
“I accept she was anxious and under pressure. She hit a tremendous low in October and took an overdose.
“She feared failure and took her own life when these pressures got too much for her.”
The coroner praised Mr Mann for being “remarkably stoic” when he gave evidence yesterday.
Speaking after the hearing, the school’s chair of governors, Dr Stephanie Gait, said the board’s thoughts remain with the family.
“Since (her death) the school and its governing body have been supporting the coroner with her enquiries.
“We hope the completion of this will help us as a school to move forward while still remembering Mrs Mann for her time as head here.”
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