A former Aberdeen teacher with more than 30 years experience in the classroom has called for a tougher stance on the issue of weapons in schools.
He spoke out after council chiefs in the city announced an independent review will be carried out following the tragic death of teenager Bailey Gwynne.
The 16-year-old died after being stabbed at Cults Academy by a fellow pupil, who is now facing a custodial sentence after being convicted of culpable homicide by a jury.
The retired teacher believes there is “a tension” in schools between the need to maintain a good image and taking a tough line with pupils carrying weapons.
He said: “Head teachers want their schools to be seen in the best possible light, so that is a pressure that they are under.”
The man, who said he was threatened during his teaching career, claimed schools were also under pressure not to exclude troublesome pupils.
He said police should “always be involved automatically” if a weapon was found at school.
“At the moment that is not the case,” he said.
“It is up to the school, they are under no obligation to report the possession of a knife even though it is a criminal offence outside, it is not an obligation to report the possession of a knife to the police by the school.”
He said that during his teaching career no one had brought a dangerous weapon into school, but he hoped there would be “clear guidelines” following the review on what sanctions schools could use.
“The message some of the time getting out is that pupils can get away with stuff, they can do things and they have surprised themselves that they have got away with it, as opposed to a bit more of an authoritarian approach – less of the ‘let’s talk about why you brought a knife into school’ sort of thing,” he said.
The multi-agency review has been commissioned by the authority, Police Scotland and NHS Grampian and deputy council leader Marie Boulton has called for transparency.
Results of the investigation are to be made public, but Aberdeen City Council was not able to say last night when the review would start, or how long it would take.