Fewer than half London’s secondaries take up ‘knife wands’ offer

Fewer than half of London’s secondary schools and FE colleges have taken up an offer of a free knife-detecting “wand” from the Mayor of London, Tes can reveal.

The news comes today as calls were made to treat knife crime “as an emergency,” from Sara Thornton, chairwoman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, who was among police chiefs meeting with home secretary Sajid Javid “to stop young people dying on our streets.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan launched the knife-wands initiative more than 18 months ago in response to what he called an “epidemic” of knife crime, which has since continued to rise across England and Wales, according to Home Office figures. 

Tes learned today that 250 of the 498 secondary schools and 63 FE colleges in London have taken up the offer of a free metal-detecting wand. 

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, praised the initiative as “excellent” but said not all schools would feel it necessary to have a knife wand.

“All schools will have in place security measures and protocols to ensure the safety of students and staff which are proportionate and appropriate.

“But it [the initiative] will obviously not be something which every school feels is necessary to deploy in their context.”

The latest figures show 100 more schools and colleges have taken up the offer of free knife wands since Tes ran a story on the initiative last April.

As reported by Tes, one London council is studying potential links between knife crime and school exclusions.

Read more Fewer than half London’s secondaries take up ‘knife wands’ offer

Does your school use ‘knife wands’? How confident would you feel if you found a knife on a pupil? Knives are often hidden just outside of the school grounds, how can this be policed? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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