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New anti-knife strategy in schools after fatal stabbing

Bailey Gwynne was killed by a fellow pupil during a fight at Cults Academy.

Bailey Gwynne: Fatally stabbed in school.
Bailey Gwynne: Fatally stabbed in school.

A new anti-knife strategy has been introduced in Aberdeen schools following the death of Bailey Gwynne.

Bailey, 16, was fatally stabbed by fellow pupil Daniel Stroud during a fight at Cults Academy.

His death led to a wide-ranging review led by Scottish child protection expert Andrew Lowe.

It recommended giving teachers the power to search pupils for weapons without their consent, a move which was rejected after opposition from educators.

The new strategy set out by Aberdeen City Council aims to inform teachers about their ability to search pupils under existing rules and requires schools to work with police.

Council education convener John Wheeler said: "Aberdeen City Council 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."

However, Mr Lowe has criticised the findings of his review were handled by Aberdeen City Council.

https://stv.tv/news/north/1397055-bailey-gwynne-killer-revealed-as-inquiry-chief-hits-out/ | default

About a third of his report was withheld when it was eventually published by the local authority, while other parts were edited.

Mr Lowe said: "I'm frankly dumbstruck they could make a decision on the basis of a report that is so heavily redacted. There were 17,000 words in there that were carefully chosen to make my case."

More than 5500 Aberdeen schoolchildren have taken part in knife awareness sessions since Bailey's death.

Another recommendation made by the Lowe inquiry was to introduce tougher rules on the sale of knives online in the UK.

Stroud told police he carried a knife, which he bought online and had secretly delivered to his home, to "act tough and be cool". He said he chose to buy it from Amazon because "they don't check if you're over 18".

In the wake of the killing 12 major retailers including Amazon promised to introduce tougher age checks on knife sales.

Their pledge was not enforced in Scotland, although it is already illegal to sell most knives to under-18s.

In July the UK Government went further, announcing plans to make it illegal to deliver blades to private homes and banning knives at schools. The legislation will not apply in Scotland as it currently stands.

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