New anti-knife crime policy introduced in Aberdeen after Bailey Gwynne stabbing

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A new anti-knife crime policy has been introduced in Aberdeen after the fatal stabbing of schoolboy Bailey Gwynne.

Aberdeen City Council’s Education and Children’s Services committee agreed to implement the Anti-Weapon/Knife Crime Policy with immediate effect on Thursday.

The move follows recommendations made in a report about the death of the 16-year-old, who was killed by a fellow pupil at Cults Academy in Aberdeen in October 2015.

Bailey, a fifth-year pupil with four younger brothers, died from bleeding caused by a single stab wound to the heart during a fight in his lunch hour.

Councillor John Wheeler, Education and Children’s Services Convener, said: “Aberdeen City Council, along with our partners, has been extremely proactive in taking measures to tackle knife and weapon crime even before the Lowe report was published.

“By agreeing and immediately implementing the recommendations into a cohesive policy I believe we have taken a significant step in ensuring that our pupils can attend school in as safe an environment as possible.”

Aberdeen City Council’s policy means schools have to “u pskill” staff for the requirements of the policy, work with Police Scotland, give out r elated materials to pupils, staff and parents as well as o rganising pupil forum discussions.

It also aims to give guidance on searching a pupil’s personal belongings, advice for schools and communities about weapon crime as well as provide information about expectations surrounding such offences.

An independent review, led by child protection expert Andrew Lowe, found Bailey’s death might have been avoided if those who knew his killer carried weapons had reported it to staff.

Announcing his findings in October last year, Mr Lowe made 21 recommendations, including calling on the Scottish Government to consider changing the law to give teachers more power to search pupils.

The Scottish Government said in January that it will not change the law to give teachers more power to search pupils.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said that giving teachers such powers would place them on the same footing as police officers which would radically change the teacher/pupil relationship, and potentially damage the school ethos and commitment to positive relationships that currently exists in Scottish schools.

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