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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 June 2006, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
Knife pupil expelled from school
A nine-year-old boy has been expelled from a school in Greater Manchester after smuggling a knife into class.

The incident, at Ashton West End Primary School in Ashton-under-Lyne, happened following a row between the youngster and a fellow pupil.

He took the small bladed knife - used for chopping vegetables - into school and confided in another pupil who then alerted teachers.

The head teacher found the knife in the boy's bag and called police.

The incident, which happened on 22 May, has only just come to light but the school, which has pupils aged three to 11, has sent a letter to all parents detailing the incident.

The boy is too young to be charged with any offence.

'Permanently excluded'

Tameside Council said the incident arose out of a "dispute" between two boys and had nothing to do with bullying or racism.

A Tameside council spokesman said: "The school has dealt with the situation promptly and effectively, with the safety of pupils and staff in mind.

"We understand the pupil has been permanently excluded by the head teacher and that parents have been kept informed of the situation."

Greater Manchester Police's school's liaison youth officer also visited the school, the boy and his parents to offer advice and give warnings on the dangers of carrying knives.

This latest incident comes just a year after another primary school in Greater Manchester banned pencil cases following an assault on a nine-year-old boy who suffered minor cuts to his chest and leg when he was attacked with a letter opener.

Two years ago another Tameside primary school banned pencil sharpeners after a pupil used a blade in one to slash another child's neck.

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