Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Police in School

The Guardian report on a speech by the schools minister Lord Adonis:

The schools minister, Andrew Adonis, called on police forces yesterday to permanently draft officers into schools to cut violent crime. He said constables could frisk pupils for weapons, drink and drugs and generally keep children safe.

At least 450 secondary and primary schools in England already have a police officer permanently on site.

Adonis said he had asked forces to free up an officer for every school that wanted one. He told the teachers’ union Voice, at its annual conference in Daventry, Northamptonshire: “We have moved beyond the debate about whether it is appropriate for police to be in schools.” Police were no longer regarded as outsiders in schools.

You can see what the Minister had to say here but, looking at it, it would appear to me that the press have been briefed with more than the Minister had to say in his speech. I can’t see, for example where he asked for every school to have a police constable, although it could of course have been in response to questions from the floor.

What I did see was a commitment to legislate to implement the recommendations from Sir Alan Steer. Lord Adonis says:

Nothing is more imperative than that we keep weapons out of school. This is why we gave schools the power to search without consent pupils whom they suspect to be carrying weapons, and are proposing to extend this power.

Few schools may feel the need to use such powers, but it is important that those that do have the powers available.

However, this does not mean we expect teachers or other staff to be exposed to danger. No member of staff should feel obliged to make searches; all those conducting searches should be trained and should follow agreed procedures and where there is doubt the police should be called.


Filed under: Government, police,

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