Council confirms weapons found in primary schools

CLL. Sandy Aitchison
CLL. Sandy Aitchison

There have been six incidents involving weapons in the region’s primary schools over the last 15 months.

In making that revelation last week, Councillor Sandy Aitchison, executive member for education, admitted that Scottish Borders Council had no policies in place to specifically address the carrying of weapons in schools.

But he added: “Within the curriculum, pupil safety is of high importance and we also offer opportunities to pupils to participate in events, such as Safe T in the Park, where safety is the central focus.”

Responding to a question from Conservative opposition councillor George Turnbull, Mr Aitchison said: “Overall, we do not have high numbers of incidents involving weapons in our schools.

“Within our reporting framework we have, since December 2013, had one incident in secondary and six in primaries.”

Mr Turnbull also wanted to know about the level of vandalism in schools and what actions were in place to reduce the cost to the council.

Mr Aitchison said the council kept no specific records, but added: “Anecdotally, although vandalism is recognised as a problem, it is not considered to be a major issue.

“The level of vandalism in schools across the Borders seems relatively low compared to other local authority areas, particularly the large urban ones.

“CCTV has been in place for some years to cover some of the more vulnerable school premises and has been successful in catching and deterring the vandals.”

He added: “Pupils in all our schools are continually supported in becoming responsible citizens … schools use every opportunity to reinforce pupils’ understanding of their role within the community.”