The family of murdered teacher Ann Maguire has thanked everyone who sent them messages of support and said they hope to harness the goodwill shown to them through the arts education fund set up in her memory.
Mrs Maguire, 61, was stabbed to death in a classroom at Corpus Christi Catholic College, in Leeds, in April, as she taught a Spanish lesson.
Earlier this week, 16-year-old Will Cornick was told he must serve a minimum of 20 years in custody after he admitted the murder of the much-loved teacher, who had taught at Corpus Christi for more than 40 years.
Mrs Maguire’s family issued a statement thanking the public for their contributions to the Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund, which have already topped £32,000. They said they thought the fund would soon be able to take applications for grants.
The statement said: “The family would like to express our thanks for all the messages of support and kindnesses shown to us and the wonderful tributes to Ann. They have been a great comfort to us and we are very grateful.
“This is a very difficult time for the family and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. We want to look for the good that can come out of this tragedy and focus on what was important to Ann. This was about helping others, especially young people, in developing their potential.
“The Ann Maguire Arts Education Fund which we set up in April 2014 will be the channel for harnessing that goodwill and the desire to build a lasting tribute to her memory.”
The statement went on: “Ann had an incredible passion for teaching and encouraging talent in her pupils and the fund wishes to enable and further the aspirations of young people in her honour.”
The fund is also open to Leeds-based community groups which provide activities for talented young people meeting the same criteria and they can apply for a grant of up to £1,500.