Call for action on weapons in Fife’s schools

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Since 2011 there has been a significant increase in weapons found on pupils in Fife Schools.

The figure has increased from two in 2011/12 to 25 in 2016/17 and Fife Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Councillor James Calder has expressed his concern.

He said, “It is incredibly alarming that we have seen such a staggering increase in weapons found on pupils in our schools in Fife.

“We have seen this rise from just two in 2011 to 25 in last year’s session, but I am worried this might just be the tip of the iceberg.

“How many weapons are not caught?”

Cllr Calder has called on Fife Council to look in to the matter immediately, saying: “The council needs to urgently look into this and find out both why this is happening and also to resolve the issue.

“We don’t want to see another tragedy like the killing of Bailey Gwynne, but I am deeply concerned that we could see a dangerous injury or even worse if current trends continue.

“It looks as though Fife has gone backwards rather than forwards on this issue.

“I call on the Council Administration to make this a priority to ensure the safety of our children.”

Cllr Fay Sinclair, Education Convener, said the term “weapons” could be used to describe a number of different objects.

“These figures refer to anything that could have been intended to cause harm and therefore include things like pencils, sticks and forks.

“We now have more detailed ways of recording incidents in schools, and ‘use of a weapon’ is one of the categories used in the system, which would explain the increasing numbers.”

She added: “It’s important to note that the Education Service is already addressing the recommendations from the Bailey Gwynne enquiry and action points in the latest Government guidance.

“We’re establishing a working group to develop policy in this area, which will involve Police Scotland, relevant voluntary organisations and trade unions, as well as council services.”