Ipswich: Union leader calls for vigilance after primary school pupil brings knife into Ipswich school

Graham White, Suffolk secretary of the National Union of Teachers.

Graham White, Suffolk secretary of the National Union of Teachers. - Credit: Archant

Union leaders have today called for parents to be more vigilant after a Year 6 pupil was found in possession of a carving knife at an Ipswich primary school.

It has been claimed serious harm could have been caused by the kitchen knife, which was discovered in the school bag of the pupil – who could be as young as 10 – at Dale Hall Community Primary School before the half-term break.

A Suffolk County Council spokeswoman said there was nothing to suggest any malicious intent.

But Graham White, secretary of the Suffolk branch of the National Union of Teachers, raised concerns about the potential for a serious accident to occur as he called on parents to be more vigilant. He said: “I am always concerned if any offensive weapon is taken into school.

“Whatever the reason was, it is potentially dangerous, it shouldn’t have happened and parents should be aware and take reasonable precautions.

“It is the parental responsibility that children don’t bring things in which are potentially dangerous.

“There are not many incidents like this in Suffolk schools as far as I’m aware so for that we have to be grateful, but there is always the potential for accidents and we need to minimise that.

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“It is always going to be difficult. You can’t check bags every single day but it is about making sure that the parents tell their children what is and isn’t acceptable and what is appropriate to bring into school.”

Figures obtained by The Star in December revealed that 25 schoolchildren were caught with weapons in schools in Suffolk between 2008 and 2011.

Staff at the school declined to comment on the incident or reveal any more details however it was confirmed that the matter was dealt with internally.

It is understood the pupil, who was aged 10 or 11, was suspended for half a day and allowed back to school the following day.

In a letter written to this newspaper, a parent, who asked to remain anonymous, raised their concerns.

The letter states: “This could have had serious consequences for all concerned. It does not bear thinking about.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said they had not been informed of the incident.