@scotgov want our kids to SPY ON EACH OTHER for them. Canny accuse them o no gettin their money’s worth

Wed Oct 12th 2016

wp-1476263719166.jpgwp-1476263688693.jpgwp-image-1249184697jpg.jpgwp-1476263796820.jpgScottish schools should set up pupil whistleblowing service to tackle knife crime, inquiry says

SCHOOLS should set up a whistleblowing service to make it easier for pupils to alert staff if their classmates bring weapons to school, an inquiry has said.

The recommendation is included in the final report of the inquiry into the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Aberdeen pupil Bailey Gwynne.

Child protection expert Andrew Lowe, the report’s author, concluded that Bailey’s death at the city’s Cults Academy in October last year was “potentially avoidable” if teachers had known the perpetrator was carrying weapons.

A friend of the killer had seen him in possession of a knife and knuckledusters, but did not report incidents to teachers.

Read more: Amazon under new pressure over Theresa May’s voluntary age check crackdown on knives after Bailey Gwynne killing

The report, which refers to the killer as Child A, explains: “The course of the conflict was fatally altered by the possession of a bladed weapon by one of the boys.

“This was potentially predictable and avoidable if those who knew Child A carried weapons in school had reported this to staff.”

Mr Lowe called on pupil forums and pupil councils “to be encouraged to develop safe processes” to enable pupils to share their knowledge of weapons with teaching staff.

Individual risk assessments should be completed on all individuals known or suspected to carry offensive weapons.

He also recommended all parents receive a letter at the beginning of secondary school setting out rules on weapons which should be signed and returned.

And his report said Police Scotland should be notified of every incident of weapons possession of which a school becomes aware with all incidents recorded by the school.

Asked why it appeared some pupils at Cults Academy felt they could not report that Bailey’s killer had weapons Mr Lowe said: “I don’t know whether they didn’t feel able or whether they didn’t feel it necessary.

“This wasn’t a boy who they perceived to be violent or conducting in risky behaviour. He was quite a quiet boy and his motivation for carrying weapons I think was understood by some of these boys as just a form of bravado.”

Read more: Amazon under new pressure over Theresa May’s voluntary age check crackdown on knives after Bailey Gwynne killing

He said young people “must be the key” to solving knife crime in schools adding: “We know as adults how we are nervous about disclosing information, clyping on friends, particularly if we don’t think that friend has malign intent, but is just showing off a little bit. We can’t afford to have that belief in our children and in our schools, we must be vigilant and they must be vigilant.”

Bailey’s killer, who is aged 16 and cannot be named for legal reasons, was jailed for nine years in March after being found guilty of culpable homicide at the High Court in Aberdeen.

Mr Lowe, who is chairman of child and adult protection for Renfrewshire, was brought in by the police, Aberdeen Council and NHS Grampian to look at any lessons which could be learned.

As the Herald revealed yesterday he recommended the Scottish Government consider changing the law to give teachers more powers to search pupils suspected of carrying weapons.

At present, pupils can only be searched by school staff if they agree. If they refuse, schools can contact parents or the police to carry out a search.

In 2007 headteachers in England were granted powers to search pupils suspected of having weapons, but the Scottish Government has always resisted a similar move north of the Border.

Read more: Amazon under new pressure over Theresa May’s voluntary age check crackdown on knives after Bailey Gwynne killing

Seamus Searson, general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association, said schools already had procedures in place to allow pupils to report incidents, but warned recent cuts meant the number of support staff had been reduced.

He said: “What is crucial is having the time to develop relationships of trust with pupils so they feel they can talk to teachers in confidence.

“Unfortunately, financial cuts has hit services such as guidance teachers who are at the front line of dealing with difficulties that pupils experience.”

Drew Maurice, assistant secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), added: “It would be more likely that a school management team would have mechanisms in place for pupils to speak about concerns.

“The involvement of pupils forums is something that has potential if it is properly structured, but teachers will be given confidential information as a matter of course and they know how to deal with it. Pupils may not have that same level of professionalism.”

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said the Scottish Government would consider the findings and report back in due course. The Herald

  1. Bailey Gwynne school stabbing death ‘potentially avoidable’
  2. Union rules out knife searches
  3. immediate action on Bailey Gwynne review finding pledged

Teachers could get more powers to search pupils for weapons following Bailey Gwynne killing

SCOTTISH teachers could get more powers to search pupils suspected of carrying weapons following an inquiry into the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Bailey Gwynne.

The final report of the inquiry has recommended the Scottish Government look at changing the law to allow school staff to search pupils.

At present, pupils can only be searched by school staff if they agree. If they refuse, schools can contact parents or the police to carry out a search.

Read more: SNP in lobbying row after backing Heathrow expansion

In 2007 headteachers in England were granted the powers to search pupils suspected of having weapons and in 2010 the power was extended to include drugs, alcohol and stolen goods. However, the Scottish Government has always resisted a similar move north of the Border.

Child protection expert Andrew Lowe will today publish his report into 16-year-old Bailey’s death at the city’s Cults Academy in October last year.

He is also expected to recommend that more effective rules on when and how to search pupils even when they give consent is also published.

Bailey’s killer, who is aged 16 and cannot be named for legal reasons, was jailed for nine years in March after being found guilty of culpable homicide at the High Court in Aberdeen.

Mr Lowe, who is chairman of child and adult protection for Renfrewshire, was brought in by the police, Aberdeen Council and NHS Grampian to look at any lessons which could be learned.

Read more: SNP in lobbying row after backing Heathrow expansion

He is expected to conclude that the incident could not have reasonably been prevented, although there is concern some pupils who were aware the assailant had a knife did not report the matter to staff.

Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, said most teachers were aware that any physical contact with pupils was “problematic”.

He said: “We would certainly not want to see teachers responsible for carrying out physical searches of pupils and most will know the dangers of doing that.

“Teachers would be more likely to ask a pupil to empty their pockets or their bag voluntarily, but then contact a member of the senior management team if they refuse. Parents and police would then be contacted depending on the severity of the case.”

Seamus Searson, general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association, said new guidance to clarify the law would be welcome, but not new powers.

Read more: SNP in lobbying row after backing Heathrow expansion

“We should not be going down the road of encouraging teachers to search pupils for weapons. It would not do any harm to reiterate the existing guidelines so that all teachers, particularly those that are new to the profession, know where they stand.”

A spokesman for School Leaders Scotland, which represents secondary headteachers, said: “The expectation is that teachers do not search pupils’ bags or jackets.

“If a situation arises where there is a suspicion that a pupil has possession of weapons or drugs then local authorities would advise that staff contact the police and that is what we would advise our members to do.”

Bailey was stabbed following a row over a biscuit. His killer had been accused of murder but was convicted of the lesser charge of culpable homicide by a jury and was also found guilty of two other charges of having a knife and knuckledusters at the school.

During evidence, it emerged that Bailey, a hard-working fifth-year pupil with four young brothers, suffered a major loss of blood after receiving the single stab wound to the heart.

The 3.3in knife was illegally bought by Bailey’s killer from online retailer Amazon and delivered to his family home. One witness told the court he had seen him with a knife at school “maybe 25 times” before the stabbing. The boy had no previous convictions, nor was there any record of him having been violent in the past. The Herald


DEBUNKED!  Kate or possibly Emma Gwynne, earrings, a face transplant & ET!