A headmaster has paid tribute to a popular teacher who was stabbed to death.
Julie Parkin, 39, who was believed to be a mum-of-two, was found with fatal knife wounds at her home in Kirkwall Close in the Castletown area of Sunderland during the early hours of Tuesday.
A man aged 35 has been arrested on suspicion of her murder and is currently in police custody.
Mrs Parkin worked at West Boldon Primary School in South Tyneside.
The school's headteacher Joanne Weightman said today: "We are deeply shocked and saddened by this tragic news.
"She was a highly valued and respected member of staff who was popular with both pupils and colleagues.
"We are working with the Local Authority to offer support to students and staff and will co-operate fully with any police investigation."
Pupils at the school were given a letter yesterday to let parents know of Mrs Parkin's sudden death.
Written by Mrs Weightman, it read: “The school has experienced the sudden death of one of our teachers, Mrs Parkin.
“We are deeply saddened by her death. “All of the staff are available to help your child cope with the tragedy.
“It is possible that your child may have some feelings he or she may like to discuss with you.
“You can help your child by taking some time to listen and encourage them to express their feelings.
“It is important to give them truthful information is appropriate to their age.
“If you would like advice or assistance please speak to a member of school staff.
“The school routine will continue as normal.
“We appreciate all of your support.”