I hope you have had the opportunity to read the letter that was sent home to all parents, carers and students on Wednesday of this week about next Wednesday’s industrial action and how this will affect students at our school. If you have not yet had the opportunity to digest our arrangements, please read them here; further information in regards to lesson arrangements can be found here and here.

You may be aware that before Christmas, Northamptonshire Police visited our school to promote awareness of the problems surrounding knife crime in Northamptonshire. They brought with them a knife arch as part of their initiative and students were able to engage in conversation with the Police about their work and discover for themselves how the arch is used. The student feedback from this initiative was very positive.

In terms of using equipment such as screening arches and wands, the law (see link) allows the following:

- "Schools’ statutory power to make rules on pupil behaviour and their duty as an employer to manage the safety of staff, pupils and visitors enables them to impose a requirement that pupils undergo screening.

Also note:

- If a pupil refuses to be screened, the school may refuse to have the pupil on the premises. Health and safety legislation requires a school to be managed in a way which does not expose pupils or staff to risks to their health and safety and this would include making reasonable rules as a condition of admittance.

- If a pupil fails to comply, and the school does not let the pupil in, the school has not excluded the pupil and the pupil’s absence should be treated as unauthorised. The pupil should comply with the rules and attend.”

I feel privileged that, only rarely, do we have to screen or search students; however, in response to the growing concern nationally about vapes and vaping in schools as presented in last week’s newsletter, we may use a hand-held metal detector in the future where we suspect that students may be in possession of such items. Should we find that a student has a vape in their possession, I shall have no hesitation in internally suspending (B6) a student for the possession of such prohibited substances or articles (including "by association”). If a student is found to have consumed any prohibited substance on the school’s premises, I shall have no hesitation in suspending a student from school (B7).

I hope I have your full support in securing a totally non-vaping school community for the benefit of us all

Jane Cartwright

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