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School mourns victim of violence in London

04 April 2014

THE headmaster of the Urswick School, Richard Brown, has paid tribute to Shereka Marsh, the 15 year-old prefect who was killed on 22 March (above).

On Tuesday, Mr Brown, who has called Shereka a "shining star", said: "The dominant activity of her life was her academic study. She was a hard-working girl who was going to be academically successful. She had applied to the sixth form, and would have got a full set of GCSE grades and gone on to do A levels."

Shereka died after being shot at a birthday party at a house in Hackney Wick, London. A 15-year-old boy has been charged with her murder.

"This is the first time we have lost a child in a violent death," Mr Brown said. "There is no issue about weapons, gangs or that sort of behaviour in the school, but, unfortunately for a significant group of young people that go to school in Hackney, some of the issues around gangs and guns and violent crime are a reality."

Shereka had not been involved "at all" in these problems, he said. "The police are clear on that, and every person who has any knowledge of what happened is clear on that. She was an innocent victim." In January, she had been chosen to accompany the Jamaican High Commissioner on a visit to the school. Mr Brown recalled her coming to his office to collect a photo of the visit at the end of the day - she had "hugely enjoyed" it. Shereka was a sports prefect, and a gifted athlete.

The school chaplain, the Revd Chris Ferris, described her as "bright, bubbly young girl". He has been supporting pupils and staff. A picture of Shereka is on display in the school chapel, and pupils have filled a book of remembrance.

He said that pupils had suggested holding a collection for Shereka's mother. Facilitated by the the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers, which supports the school, the fund has now collected more than £6000.

In January, the Urswick School, a C of E secondary school founded in 1520, was listed in the Department for Education's 100 most improved schools.


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