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Weapons (Schools)

Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 5 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps are being taken by his Department to provide security measures to ensure that (a) knives and (b) guns are not taken into schools. (82264)

School security is a local matter. Under health and safety law, it is for individual school employers to determine what measures a school should take to keep pupils and staff safe. In the main, schools are very safe places and the majority of pupils have never carried a knife. It is a criminal offence to carry an offensive weapon on school premises. Where schools have suspicions they can call the police, and should do so if they believe pupils or staff are at risk of serious harm. Schools and local police can agree a Safer School Partnership to prevent crime in and around a school. We also propose a power in the Violent Crime Reduction Bill to enable schools to search, without consent, pupils they suspect are carrying a knife or other weapon.