Extra money for added protection

18th October 1996 at 01:00
Local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales are to receive a grant for improvements to school security in the wake of Thomas Hamilton's "act of calculated wickedness" at Dunblane, Michael Forsyth, the Secretary of State for Scotland, told the Commons on Wednesday. "All authorities will benefit, and I intend that councils should have as much discretion as possible on the measures to be taken," said Mr Forsyth.

Whatever LEAs do should be in line with the plans that Lord Cullen encourages individual schools to draw up, and will be in addition to measures announced by the Government in May. in response to the recommendations of the working group on school security. "It would be very difficult to prescribe particular standards of security that will apply to every school," Mr Forsyth said. "Schools should be places where children should be safe, but as open as they can be to the wider community." He also said that he would be introducing legislation to allow youth organisations access to criminal records.

The Labour MP, George Robertson, who lives in Dunblane, said: "What comes through the harrowing descriptions in the report is the remarkable and inspirational behaviour of the school staff and especially of the headteacher, Ron Taylor. Their heroism and professionalism should never be forgotten. "

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