The head of a school where a much-loved teacher was stabbed to death in front of her pupils has described his immense pride at leading the students and staff as they tried to cope with the tragedy.
Steve Mort singled out the children at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds for praise as he inspected the mass of floral tributes which have accumulated since the death of Spanish teacher Ann Maguire on Monday morning.
Mr Mort was speaking as police continued to question a 15-year-old boy over Mrs Maguire's stabbing.
He said: "I am immensely proud to be headteacher at Corpus Christi. Our children have proven themselves to be great ambassadors for the school. And I want to pay particular tribute to them and to the professionalism and dedication demonstrated by our staff at this very difficult time."
The head spent around 15 minutes reading some of the hundreds of messages along the 164ft (50m) line of tributes placed against the school's metal railings along with his deputy, Cath Bielby, and assistant heads, Kieran Sykes and Andy Kellett.
Mr Mort said: "I want to say on behalf of the pupils, the staff and the governors and of the school that we are overwhelmed by the amazing outpouring of love and affection for Ann from the local community, from friends of the school past and present and from colleagues across the city.
"Over the past 48 hours we have drawn an incredible amount of strength and comfort from all the amazing tributes and messages of sympathy and support that we have received from right across the country and, indeed, the world.
"I would personally like to express my gratitude to all of the people that are currently supporting us within the school - West Yorkshire Police, Leeds City Council, the diocesan family and, in particular, our partner primary schools and Catholic Care."
Last night magistrates gave West Yorkshire Police extra time to question the schoolboy who was detained by staff following the stabbing and remains in custody.
Mrs Maguire, 61, was months away from retiring, after working at Corpus Christi Catholic College for more than 40 years, when she was attacked in a classroom in front of around 30 pupils.
The head teacher of the school where Ann Maguire worked says he is proud to be there.
Mrs Maguire was died of multiple stab wounds after an attack on Monday and since then mourners have left flowers and messages along the road outside the school.
Speaking today Mr Steve Mort praised pupils and staff for coming together after her death:
Pope Francis has expressed sympathy to the family of Ann Maguire and all those affected by her death in a message conveyed by the Vatican's Ambassador to Britain.
Archbishop Antonio Mennini, in a letter to the Diocese of Leeds, spoke of the "spiritual closeness" of Pope Francis with all those affected by the tragedy including Mrs Maguire's family, friends, colleagues and the community of Corpus Christi Catholic College.
In a letter to the apostolic administrator of the diocese, Monsignor John Wilson, Archbishop Mennini asked for the message of "sincere sympathy" to be conveyed on behalf of himself and the Pope.
"I assure you of my prayers for the repose of the soul of Mrs Maguire and for the consolation and strengthening of all those persons close to her and all those who mourn her sudden death," Archbishop Mennini said.
"May the Lord grant her eternal rest and the reward of her life of dedication and of service to young people and to education."
David Miliband has joined Prime Minister David Cameron in paying tribute to Ann Maguire who was stabbed at a school in Leeds on Monday.
She taught Spanish and RE at Corpus Cristi Catholic College in a career spanning four decades.
The Labour leader said her death was an "appalling tragedy":
David Cameron says the stabbing of a teacher as she took a class in Leeds was shocking.
Ann Maguire died from multiple stab wounds after being attacked on Monday.
Police in Leeds have been given extra time to question a 15-year-old boy.
Mr Cameron was speaking during Prime Minister's Questions:
Police investigating the murder of Leeds schoolteacher Ann Maguire have been granted more time to question a 15-year-old boy.
– Detective Superintendent Simon Beldon
The suspect remains in custody and will continue to be interviewed today. Last night we were granted an extension by magistrates which has given us additional time to question him today. Our enquiries are ongoing and we are still in the process of interviewing a number of pupils who witnessed the incident.
Flowers and messages are still being left outside the school where a Spanish teacher was stabbed to death during a class.
Ann Maguire had taught at Corpus Cristi Catholic College for 40 years. She died on Monday.
A community remembrance service will be held this morning.
A 15-year-old is still being questioned by police.
Hundreds of people are expected at a church service this morning in memory of murdered school teacher Ann Maguire. She was stabbed to death at Corpus Christi high school in Leeds on Monday. A community service is being held at the nearby church at 9.30.
More than 700 children walked back into Corpus Christi Catholic College this morning - less than 24 hours after Anne Maguire became the first teacher to be murdered in a British classroom.
Detectives have now confirmed that Mrs Maguire died from multiple stab wounds. They are still questioning a 15-year-old-boy on suspicion of murder this evening.
There has been countless tributes to the teacher who spent four decades at the school and was due to retire in September.
Rachel Townsend reports:
West Yorkshire Police have issued a warning against anyone speculating about the identity of the person arrested in connection with the stabbing of a teacher in Leeds yesterday.
Re #Leeds stabbing, pls can people refrain from speculating on identity of arrested person as this may prejudice potential court proceedings