When I discussed the great success of, and support for, Safer Schools Partnerships with your reporter, I detailed the protocol in place which allows schools officers a certain degree of flexibility and discretion, therefore preventing arrests ("Pupils are branded criminals", TES, October 27).
Joint guidance issued to school officers by the Home Office, Department for Education and Skills and the Association of Chief Police Officers allows them to deal with minor incidents outside the standard crime recording system, thus preventing the criminalisation of children. This is an integral part of the partnership schemes which your article neglects.
The partnerships have been praised by headteachers, staff, pupils, parents and community groups, and we will continue to work to expand their use.
They have been shown to provide a safe and secure environment in which teaching and learning can take place, and partnership officers will continue to implement the preventative methods and discretionary policy which are helping to avoid young people entering the youth justice system.