Twelve Wolverhampton pupils excluded over weapons in schools

Twelve children have been excluded from schools in Wolverhampton borough for going in with weapons including knives and fireworks, it was revealed today.

There have been 12 fixed-term exclusions in the borough after weapons were taken into schools – seven of the incidents involving a knife.

The city’s council was the only authority in the Black Country to hold such figures. Staffordshire County Council also said similar information was held by schools individually. In half of Wolverhampton’s cases, pupils took knives into school. In one incident, a pupil threatened another youngster with a knife.

In an eighth case, a pupil took a weapon, the nature of which has not been revealed, into school and another pupil held a metal object against the throat of child. The 10th exclusion was for a pupil who brought an offensive weapon into school and threatened a classmate.

There have been two further cases involving lit fireworks.

The authority said it could not provide the names or address of the schools, or the dates of these cases as it would identify the people involved.

Chiefs also said they could not reveal any information about how many weapons had been seized from school premises, or how many crimes involving weapons had been recorded on school sites in Wolverhampton. All of the exclusions were during the past two academic years, and were revealed after a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

Councillor Phil Page, the city’s education chief, said the authority would help schools ensure they had the right security in place for such ‘unacceptable’ behaviour.

He said: “While the responsibility for disciplinary procedures lies with individual schools, the authority supports them in the actions they take in dealing with such incidents.

“Clearly, pupils carrying weapons on to school premises is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated so I’m pleased that headteachers act swiftly and robustly to deal with this.

“We will continue to support schools in actions they take and ensuring that necessary security and safety measures are in place.”

Worcestershire County Council was able to confirm there had been no exclusions at schools in Kidderminster, Stourport, Bewdley, Hagley, Hartlebury or Clent linked to weapons. The authority did not record how many crimes involving weapons were committed on school premises, nor if any weapons were seized from schools.

Police bosses have said their knife ‘surrender’ scheme in Birmingham, which launched in February, could be the start of something bigger for the West Midlands with hopes of the same scheme in Wolverhampton.

Wolverhampton had the highest number of knife crimes of any area in the region in 2013 - 138 between January 1 and December 9.