The investigator of the school stabbing of Bailey Gwynne at a school in Aberdeen, has warned that the tragedy could take place at any school, not just in troubled neighbourhoods, Schools Improvement reports
The 16 year-old was stabbed to death at Cults Academy, one of the highest performing schools in Scotland, by a fellow pupil in 2015. The investigator into his death, Andrew Lowe, released his official report into the killing this week, and gave a warning to schools not to be complacent on the issue of violent crime, even in middle class areas.
Mr Lowe was appointed as independent reviewer in March 2016, shortly after the sentencing of the defendant in the case.
Lowe has made twenty one recommendations in his report, including the need to improve weapons reporting to teachers. Speaking directly to seemingly complacent teaching staff, he commented:
“My message would be this: it is you in the schools who think this has nothing to do with you, that need to listen.”
He also said that given the circumstances, the incident has been “handled well by all agencies”, given that the attack was borne out of “an unplanned, spontaneous conflict” caused by “unexceptional banter.”
Gwynne’s killer who is 16 and cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to nine years in prison for the stabbing, upon being found guilty of culpable homicide at the High Court in Aberdeen.
Speaking after the release of the report, Andy Smith, president of School Leaders Scotland and headteacher of Carluke High in South Larnarkshire, echoed Mr. Lowe’s warning. Predicting that headteachers across the country would be assessing their own protocols to see if things needed “tightening up”, he added:
“The number one principle is always make sure young people feel safe and protected, and a headteacher will do anything they can do to ensure that happens.”