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Last Updated: Friday, 10 September, 2004, 00:42 GMT 01:42 UK
Parents 'want weapons searches'
Luke Walmsley
Luke Walmsley's death again raised the issue of weapons
Parents want radical action to stop drugs and weapons getting into schools, a survey suggests.

Random searches for contraband were by backed by 90% of the 1,000 parents who took part in the poll published in the Times Educational Supplement.

Some 80% said pupils who sold cannabis should be expelled, while 71% backed expulsion for those found with knives.

The fatal stabbing of Luke Walmsley by a fellow pupil at his Lincolnshire school has raised concerns over safety.

In July, a judge ordered that Alan Pennell, 16, of Grainthorpe, Lincs, should be detained for life after he was convicted of the 14-year-old's murder.

The poll also follows Tony Blair's call earlier this year for headteachers to be allowed to conduct random drug testing.

Violent bullying

The pollsters questioned 1,000 parents in England and Wales on a range of issues connected with discipline in schools.

More than a third (35%) say they have a child who has been bullied at school, and nearly a quarter (23%) said violence was involved.

The bullying was dealt with effectively by the school, 59% of parents said.

For parents of children at secondary school, bullying was the most important issue. For primary schools it was funding.

On the issue of violence, 70% of parents believed that children who attacked teachers should be expelled.

Those parents surveyed were easier on pupils caught in possession of cannabis rather than trying to sell it to others. Less than half of parents believe possession should mean expulsion.

Overall, parents have positive views about standards of behaviour in their own children's schools with 35% believing it has improved over the past five years against 30% who think it has deteriorated.

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14 Jul 04  |  Education
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27 Jul 04  |  Lincolnshire
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27 Jul 04  |  Lincolnshire

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