Schools are failing to teach pupils about knife crime and removing metal detectors because they are afraid about the reputational damage it may cause, a report by Ofsted has found.
Headteachers also fear that their institution will be seen as a “problem school” if they educate children about the risks of grooming and exploitation by gangs, according the schools watchdog.
In a report, titled “Safeguarding children and young people in education from knife crime: Lessons from London”, Ofsted described how one college had “abandoned the use of knife arches” as they believed it was “detrimental to the students and to the reputation of the college”.
Ofsted inspectors conducted in depth interviews with headteachers at 29 schools in London about their approaches to keeping children safe from violence and gang culture.
Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools, said: “Many school and college leaders we spoke to were trying to educate children about the dangers of knife crime and the risks of grooming and exploitation by gangs.
“However, some are concerned that if they do this they will be seen as a ‘problem school’, and subsequently avoided by parents.”
The report described how some schools were “wary” searching children for knives “in case it sent the wrong message to parents”.