Schools need stronger partnerships to tackle knife crime, says Ofsted

A report commissioned by Ofsted has suggested that schools do not have the capability of countering knife crime alone, and advocates that they need to better utilise partners such as local authorities and the police.

Ofsted’s research has examined how schools, colleges and pupil referral units in Greater London have fared in protecting pupils from knife crime in school, and how they have dealt with children who have brought knives onto the school site. They found that incidents are exceptionally rare, but local partnerships are underutilised, which makes responses inconsistent.

While finding that there is no evidence to suggest that exclusions are the main factor in surging incidents of knife crime, the report reminds school leaders to follow the statutory guidance in relation to exclusions, and consider early interventions for groups most at risk.

Mike Sheridan, Ofsted’s Regional Director for London has stated:

‘Schools should be fully involved in local knife crime strategies, but too few are brought around the table. Only just over half of the schools surveyed were aware their borough had a knife crime strategy. Schools work effectively to keep their pupils safe, but they can be isolated from each other and other agencies, leading to inconsistencies in the way schools approach this issue.’