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Bailey Gwynne: Staff at Cults Academy have a lot to answer for, say parents

The scene outside Cults Academy in the days following the death of pupil Bailey Gwynne
The scene outside Cults Academy in the days following the death of pupil Bailey Gwynne

Parents last night said staff at Cults Academy had “a lot to answer for” in the wake of the Bailey Gwynne tragedy.

During the trial, it emerged the teen’s killer had previously been spoken to about taking a knife to the Aberdeen school.

And he himself admitted that he carried the weapon “every day” in his blazer pocket.

Last night, parents said it was “ridiculous” nothing had been done to stop him before the fatal stabbing occurred.

One mother-of-two said she had always believed the youngsters would be safe given Cults Academy’s reputation as being one of the top state schools in the country.

And another mum, whose son attends the school, claimed senior staff “had a lot to answer for”.

Headteacher Anna Muirhead arrives at court
Headteacher Anna Muirhead arrives at court

She said the incident had made the parents question their children’s safety.

She said: “It is absolutely ridiculous that the school knew he was carrying weapons for so long and nothing was done about it before now.

“It’s horrendous to think something like this had to happen before any action was taken. I think the head teacher has a lot to answer for.

“It is the one place you expect your kids to be safe and protected but it’s clearly not.”

The mum added she was now “happy” a review was going to be carried out and that it was being taken seriously.

But one 16-year-old Cults Academy pupil, who cannot be named for legal reasons, defended the boy who was convicted of killing Bailey yesterday, as well as his school.

The youth, who gave evidence during his friend’s trial, said: “It was just a fight that got out of hand, there was nothing the school or the teachers could have done.

“He didn’t have a bad reputation in school or anything, and he wasn’t known for being bad.

“The teachers didn’t know about the knife.”

He added he was still “partly” in touch with the convicted boy, but declined to answer whether he knew he had regularly carried knives to school.

After the shock of Bailey Gwnne’s death in October, council chiefs in Aberdeen had to perform a dramatic U-turn and review their decision not to take part in a nationwide anti-knife crime campaign.

Aberdeen City Council decided not to participate in the Scottish Government’s No Knives, Better Lives campaign in 2009, due to the low number of incidents in local schools.

But after the tragedy, council chiefs said they were “reconsidering their stance” although they denied there was a “knife crime culture” in the north-east.

Last night another parent welcomed the news an independent review would be carried out and said: “They opted out of the knife crime programme at the school as they thought it was ‘rare and wasn’t needed.

“How wrong could they be? I think big reviews are needed. You can’t just assume, because it’s Cults, that we are not going to be effected by things like this. It has cost poor Bailey his life.”

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