Why do we feel safe at Penrice?

By Jamie, Adam and Ethan

Recently, on the news, there have been many stories regarding gun crime and school shootings in America. This inspired us to ask the question: “How safe are UK schools?”

School shootings happen in America more than another country around the world buy why they are less likely to happen in the UK?

An example of these horrific shootings is the Madison Township School shooting in Ohio; this is the latest shooting and it happened on the 29th of February 2016. Luckily this isn’t the worse school shooting ever but it still is scary to think that these things happen. The shooters were a 14 year old boy, and he used a .380 calibre handgun. It is scary to think that 14 year olds are being able to get access to such weapons; however this is a lot less likely to happen in the UK because it is so hard to get actual firearms even for adults, so this makes it almost impossible for a 14 year-old to actually get their hands on one.

As part of the BBC School News Report it is our intention to highlight the importance of safety in school and to see what schools are doing to help prevent dangers to students in the UK.

We spoke to with Principal Mr Baker, to discuss safety in our school and why it is we actually feel safe.

Mr Baker, thank you for taking time to talk to us. How are you keeping us safe in school?

“The key bit of keeping you safe in school is making sure we’ve got rules for people to follow and that we work with the children and parents to make sure everyone understand those rules. We want to make you aware of dangers that you could be exposed to, such as the internet, such as people bringing weapons in, people falling out and fighting. It’s really important that we think about those things and share that with the students about what our expectations are. Keeping people safe is our job while we continue make sure you are learning and that’s really important.”

Do you think the school is a safe environment and why?

“Penrice is as safe as we can possibly make it; staff are very vigilant, everyone has to wear identity badges whether they are a visitor or staff so everyone is aware of who they are. We’ve worked extremely hard over the last 5 years to make sure it is not as accessible as it once was.”

What will you do to prevent safety issues on the road?

“All we can do with students from 11 to 16 is work with them, inform them show them, if you decide you’re stronger than a car then you’re not. There is the behaviour as they walk home especially through mount Charles, we get lots of complaints from parents, worried parents, passers-by in the fact that children like to walk over that hill and feel that  if a car comes then it is the cars responsibility to get out of the way.

Unfortunately a couple of years ago one of our students was run over down by Tesco and Ms Adams brought in his clothes to show everyone, and because he was airlifted away from the scene. Thankfully that student was fine however the problem continues. My job is to keep students informed of the dangers; it’s the student’s job to think about it as they walk across the road and going home.”

What are the consequences of brining potentially dangerous weapons into school?

“Dangerous weaponry is an interesting one if someone was to bring a knife in or anything that could significantly harm someone then that would probably be permanent exclusion. Sometimes people bring things in because they want to show their friends like pen knife or something and we have to be realistic and sensible about it. We always phone home and say to the parents that it is not acceptable we have to work with our students. Children will be children and at times they will get something they will get something they want to show their mates so we have to work with our students.

But in the case of someone bringing in a knife for instance then we just can’t accept that, my job is to keep the school safe and my job is as a parent myself I want to make every child in this school feel safe and the parents want me to make sure the place is safe for their children to come.”