MANY teachers are unaware of existing powers to search pupils, according to a survey.
Four out of five questioned said that they did not know about powers introduced in 2006 that allow head teachers to delegate powers to teachers to search pupils for weapons.
Over 90% said they had never carried out such a search, according to research for Teacher Support Network, a group of independent charities providing practical and emotional support to staff in the education sector and their families.
The revelation comes the week after the government’s discipline tsar, Sir Alan Steer, recommended to Government that search powers be extended to include alcohol, cigarettes and drugs.
Teacher Support Network chief executive Patrick Nash said: “We are very concerned that teachers seem largely unaware of current guidance on search powers for weapons.
“We are therefore worried that teachers would be equally unaware of any extension of this power, leaving them in potentially dangerous situations or open to allegations of abuse.
“Safety, particularly that of teachers, must be a priority within schools.”