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Pupils: Weapons

Volume 502: debated on Monday 7 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what record his Department maintains relating to the number of pupils who, following a search, were found to be in the possession of (a) a knife, (b) another weapon and (c) drugs on school premises; (303561)

(2) how many pupils in England were found to be in the possession of (a) a weapon and (b) drugs on school premises in each of the last three years.

The Department does not record the number of pupils found to be in possession of a knife, other weapon, or drugs, whether following a search or otherwise.

In 2007 we gave head teachers the power to search, without consent, any pupil suspected of carrying a knife or other offensive weapon. Schools can also screen pupils at random or search with consent. However, we do not require schools to tell us when such an article has been found. They should inform the police, to whom they must pass the article.

We have recently extended the power to search without consent so that schools can search pupils without consent for illegal drugs (and for alcohol and stolen property) with effect from September 2010.