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Last Updated: Monday, 4 June 2007, 13:36 GMT 14:36 UK
Pupil knife search move ruled out
Knives - generic
The Tories said the problem was a serious one
The Scottish Government has said it has no plans to allow teachers to search pupils for knives.

A call to look at the matter came from the Scottish Tories, after heads in England were granted new powers.

Tory education spokeswoman Elizabeth Smith, a former teacher, said the issue must be taken very seriously.

A government spokeswoman said that, where pupils were suspected of committing criminal offences, the police should be contacted.

Ms Smith said: "Despite reservations from the teaching unions, the UK Government has now given head teachers in England these powers so they have a legal right to search pupils who are suspected of carrying knives and other dangerous weapons.

Head teachers have said previously that they did not want these powers
Scottish government spokeswoman

"Scotland must now follow suit."

The MSP stressed that the problem involved only a tiny minority of youngsters and that such powers could be used only where there was a "strong suspicion" that a pupil was carrying a weapon.

But the Scottish government said it had no plans to follow suit.

A spokeswoman said: "Our position is that where a pupil is suspected of carrying a knife, they are suspected of a criminal offence and teachers should get the police involved at that stage.

"We want our schools to be safe and secure places.

"The position in Scotland is slightly different - head teachers have said previously that they did not want these powers."

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