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Year 7 and 8 pupils at Highbury Grove School expelled for carrying knives

PUBLISHED: 09:05 05 May 2016 | UPDATED: 14:41 05 May 2016

The question and answer panel at Tuesday's Islington's safer schools roadshow included police officers, youth councillors and Highbury Grove School headteacher Tom Sherrington, centre. Picture: James Morris

The question and answer panel at Tuesday's Islington's safer schools roadshow included police officers, youth councillors and Highbury Grove School headteacher Tom Sherrington, centre. Picture: James Morris

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Highbury Grove School has expelled pupils from Years 7 and 8 for carrying knives, Islington’s first safer schools roadshow heard.

Police cadet youth volunteers were asked by Sgt Marcel Baker to read out the names of the 15 teenagers who were stabbed to death in London last year. Picture: Ken MearsPolice cadet youth volunteers were asked by Sgt Marcel Baker to read out the names of the 15 teenagers who were stabbed to death in London last year. Picture: Ken Mears

Headteacher Tom Sherrington made the admission at Tuesday’s meeting, which debated London’s knife crime problem with parents, pupils and youth workers.

In a question and answer session, he said: “There are situations we have had to deal with here. We have an absolute policy and two students have been permanently excluded for carrying a knife. One was in Year 7 and the other in Year 8.

“They are young, naive kids who don’t know what they are playing with and it’s a harsh lesson for them to learn.

“We have a very strict entry policy [in the mornings], where staff meet students at the door. We act on information and the good thing is that students tell us if they see something. They don’t take it.”

Islington Police, which called the meeting at Highbury Grove School, also advocated the controversial “stop and search” method for taking knives off the streets.

But when youth engagement officer Marcel Baker asked the 100-strong crowd for a show of hands as to whether they supported stop and search, the response was divided.

The safer schools roadshow audience at highbury Grove School included Alan Cartwright's mothe Michelle, pictured bottom left. Picture: Ken MearsThe safer schools roadshow audience at highbury Grove School included Alan Cartwright's mothe Michelle, pictured bottom left. Picture: Ken Mears

He said: “Stop and search can be the best tool but on the occasions we do it wrong, it’s the worst.”

“From stop and search, we arrested 135 last year for possession of a knife. In the last week alone, there were five people arrested in Islington for possession of a knife.

“We have to stop these stabbings happening in the first place.”

Earlier in the meeting, police volunteer cadets read out the names of the 15 teenagers who were stabbed to death in London last year.

Three of these boys died in the Islington borough: Alan Cartwright, Stefan Appleton and Vaso Kakko. Alan’s mother, Michelle, was present in the audience.


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