Hus­band ar­rested as pupils grieve for teacher

School mourns pop­u­lar, skilled mother of four

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Death Shocks Village - By Rachael Woods

A head teacher has paid trib­ute to a much-loved mem­ber of staff who was found dead in her vil­lage home.

Caro­line An­drews died last Thurs­day in Be­nen­den and her hus­band Stu­art, 54, an Ox­ford grad­u­ate and for­mer Bank of Eng­land aide, has been ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of killing his wife.

Be­nen­den Pri­mary School head teacher Gill Knox has spo­ken of Mrs An­drews’ qual­i­ties as a teacher. She said: “Caro­line knew the chil­dren re­ally well and they all loved her.

“She was skilled at her job and al­ways flex­i­ble, work­ing right across the school years, but she par­tic­u­larly en­joyed work­ing with the lit­tle ones in re­cep­tion.

“Staff are ab­so­lutely dev­as­tated about what has hap­pened; they are shocked and stunned and they can’t be­lieve that she has died in ap­par­ently ter­ri­ble cir­cum­stances.”

On Mon­day the school held a spe­cial as­sem­bly for Mrs An­drews, 52, at Be­nen­den Church, where the hymn Peace, Per­fect Peace by Ed­ward H. Bick­er­steth was sung.

A child from each year group was in­vited to light a can­dle in Mrs An­drews’ mem­ory.

Mrs Knox said: “I talked to the chil­dren about Mrs An­drews and told them that she had died in very sad cir­cum­stances and we would not be see­ing her again.

“I told them that ev­ery fam­ily has happy and sad days and that this was a very sad day for our school fam­ily.”

The head teacher said there were some tears but that staff had been able to deal with them.

Pupils have been asked to write down their mem­o­ries of Mrs An­drews and draw pic­tures of her, which Mrs Knox hopes to col­late into a book and per­haps hand over to her chil­dren.

Two of the sup­ply teacher’s daugh­ters Polly, 19, and her 14-year-old sis­ter, were for­mer pupils of the church school, which is tucked along­side the pic­turesque vil­lage green. Mrs An­drews also had two sons, Charles, 26 and Henry, 23.

Mrs Knox said that the youngest daugh­ter had re­turned to her pri­mary school af­ter leav­ing and was seen at school fetes and in­set days.

Mother-of-four Mrs An­drews, who had last worked at the pri­mary on Fri­day, Jan­uary 29, was a fa­mil­iar fig­ure in the vil­lage.

She lived just a five-minute walk from the school, in a £500,000 rented home just off The Street.

“Caro­line was a keen jog­ger,” said Mrs Knox. “I of­ten saw her jog­ging around the vil­lage green and I saw her on the Mon­day or Tues­day be­fore she died and gave her a beep as I was driv­ing past.

“She was very much a part of the vil­lage, as were the fam­ily who loved their dogs, cats and chick­ens and their coun­try life.”

The head teacher, who has been in post for three years, said that Mrs An­drews had worked at the school for the last six years.

She com­mended her staff who put their own feel­ings aside last Fri­day when the im­pact of Mrs An­drews’ death was so raw.

They car­ried on with lessons, mak­ing sure ev­ery­thing was nor­mal for the chil­dren and were pro­fes­sional at all times.

Mrs Knox has since emailed her team ask­ing them to take time to be thank­ful to each other as the tragedy showed how pre­car­i­ous life can be.

She said: “I’m sure there are things that we all wished we’d said to Caro­line about how much we ap­pre­ci­ated her but didn’t get around to, so we should al­ways re­mem­ber to take the time to say thanks to each other.”

Head teacher Gill Knox paid trib­ute to teacher Caro­line An­drews, right, who was found dead in her home in Be­nen­den

Mrs An­drews’ hus­band Stu­art was ar­rested af­ter a 24-hour hunt which in­cluded armed po­lice search­ing a com­muter train

Po­lice at the home in Be­nen­den where Mrs An­drews’ body was found

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.