Bailey Gwynne Death: Officials Going 'Beyond Recommendations' Of Review

19 December 2016, 17:45

bailey gwynne

Officials have said they are going ''beyond the recommendations'' of an independent review into the fatal stabbing of a pupil at school.

Bailey Gwynne, 16, died after being stabbed at Cults Academy in Aberdeen during the lunch hour on October 28 last year.

His killer, a 16-year-old youth who cannot be named due to his age, was locked up for nine years in April after a jury found him guilty of culpable homicide and carrying weapons.

An independent review, led by child protection expert Andrew Lowe, found Bailey's death might have been avoided if those who knew his killer carried weapons had reported it to staff.

Announcing his findings in October, Mr Lowe made 21 recommendations, including calling on the Scottish Government to consider changing the law to give teachers more power to search pupils.

A heavily redacted version of the review was published on Monday, following a commitment made when the findings were released on October 11.

Pages six to 20 of the 67-page document, including the summary section, are almost completely blacked out, as are many of the ensuing sections.

The Aberdeen Chief Officers Group said the information redacted from the report constitutes, or relates to, the confidential personal information of individuals who have not consented to the publication of that information.

The group said implementation of the recommendations is ''progressing well''.

In a statement, it said: ''We understand the interest in the content of the review but we are bound by data protection laws and respect the wishes of the individuals and families involved. The review contains a great deal of sensitive, confidential and legally restricted information. We committed to seeking the permissions required to publish that information and have worked extensively to complete that process.

''In October, the Chief Officers Group stated its determination to implement the recommendations contained within Andrew Lowe's review and that implementation is progressing well. As a group we are going beyond the recommendations and have a comprehensive plan in place, including the roll-out of the anti-weapon strategy in our schools.

''The aim of the independent review was to provide assurance to our organisations and to the public that all circumstances in relation to Bailey's death have been examined and to make appropriate recommendations which can be applied for future practice. The conclusions reached and the recommendations have been shared and acted upon.''

The Aberdeen Chief Officers Group comprises Angela Scott, chief executive of Aberdeen City Council; Campbell Thomson, Chief Superintendent, North East Division, Police Scotland; and Malcolm Wright, chief executive, NHS Grampian.

In his review, Mr Lowe concluded: ''This was an unplanned, spontaneous conflict that emerged rapidly out of an unexceptional banter. It is not considered that it could have been predicted or averted on the day.

''The course of the conflict was fatally altered by the possession of a bladed weapon by one of the boys. This was potentially predictable and avoidable if those who knew Child A carried weapons in school had reported this to staff.''

The 17,000-word report recommended that the Scottish Government considers amending the law in relation to searching pupils and also looks at legislation covering the purchasing of weapons online.

Among other recommendations in the review are that individual risk assessments should be completed on all individuals known or suspected to carry offensive weapons, and that Aberdeen City Council works jointly with Police Scotland to develop and deliver age appropriate training for primary seven, first and fifth year pupils to support the knife crime strategy.