The Evening Standard reports that the Mayor of London said he wanted the watchdog to include in its school safeguarding standards whether pupils were being kept safe from blades and deterred from carrying them.
London has endured a spate of knife deaths in 2017, with more than 30 of the 65 victims this year under 25. Mr Khan labelled it an “epidemic” and said action was required from inspectors because many schools were reluctant to confront the issue out of fear for their reputations.
Mr Khan said: “One of the things we have seen is that there are some schools that are nervous about talking about knife issues and safety issues in their schools because they are worried about being stigmatised or labelled as an unsafe school.
“What is clear is that safeguarding should be a priority for all schools, keeping young people, students, safe should be a priority for all schools – we want to make sure all schools are teaching children about the dangers of carrying a knife.
“One of the ways to do that is to encourage Ofsted – as part of the inspection regime they have got to inspect safeguarding – to include in that, ‘Is a school doing all they can to keep people safe in particular in relation to knife crime, carrying a knife?’.”
Ofsted is planning to carry out a thematic review of tackling violence at schools, which will include best practice advice on prevention.
The mayor called for schools to have mandatory plans in place to prevent children carrying or being attacked by knives, while also providing support for pupils and parents in the event of an attack.
Would your school be ready if it was inspected tomorrow? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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