Over a thousand children were caught carrying knives in schools, with the youngest aged just four years old, new figures reveal.
This figure has more than doubled in the last five years with 1,100 instances of children being caught with a knife on them in school.
Knives seized by police include machetes, hunting knives and even a samurai sword. On one occasion an 11 year old in Manchester held a highlighter pen which had a blade on the top rather than a nib. He told another pupil: “Listen to me or else I’ll stab you.”
David Simmons, a former teacher and founder of Changing Lives charity, said he was once confronted by a six-year-old holding a knife.
Describing the incident, he said: ”He was threatening other staff members and saying that he was going to stab them so I’ve gone over trying to calm this child down,”
He added, ”He’s then said he’s going to stab me and kill me. At that age you just wouldn’t have thought that a six-year-old should be doing that. Why were they doing that?”
On a separate occasion, Police in Wales were called to a school by teachers concerned that a four-year-old had a knife.
The figures have shown an increase in the number children carrying knives which are mirrored by figures for injuries of young people caused by a stabbing or sharp object. The NHS recorded 1,012 admissions of young people to hospital after a stabbing last year compared to almost half (656) in 2012/13.
Despite the increase in crime, Steven George , from the National Association of Headteachers, argues that calling the police isn’t always the best option. He added: “Their family, circumstances, the neighbourhood they live in, the people they hang around with are all going to be factors and those aren’t solved with a phone call to the police.
“We know that schools are being asked to do more than ever before on a wide range of issues that extend beyond the school gates. If the figures continue to grow then that is a problem that schools definitely cannot tackle alone.”
If you are experiencing difficulties in relation to exclusion, Special Educational Needs or otherwise then please do not hesitate to contact our specialist education solicitors on 02922 408 700