School chiefs have scrapped a zero tolerance policy on pupils taking knives into the classroom.

Bosses have issued new guidelines which state that permanently ­excluding pupils who bring blades into school is “not appropriate”.

Headteachers throughout the UK are under growing pressure to slash the numbers of pupils being expelled.

But critics blasted the move.

Tory MP Tom Hunt, who is a member of the Commons Education Com-mittee, said: “I wouldn’t want anything to be done to soften the message that knives have no place in schools.

“Exclusion should probably be the norm for kids caught carrying knives.

“There are no circumstances where it’s acceptable to carry a knife at school – or anywhere else for that matter. There has to be
a tough approach.”

“I think being caught carrying a knife at school is completely and utterly unacceptable and there has to be a tough approach.”

Knife crime across London has spiralled to 15,080 offences in the year to September.

A Wandsworth Council spokesman said: “This is a discussion document that’s been drawn up in close consultation with the police, head teachers, child psychologists and educational professionals to give schools guidance on how they may choose to react to different scenarios they may encounter.

“It is also being discussed in neighbouring boroughs and it’s our understanding that similar guidance is being circulated among all the London boroughs.”

  • Knife Crime
  • London

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