After working in schools for half a decade, there is a long list of things I still don’t understand about them, but what firmly tops that list is the presence of police officers in schools.
I have worked in two schools and both had police officers. Both schools had a level of deprivation which meant they were likely to face issues such as knife crime, radicalisation and other issues. To be clear, the issues listed are real, harmful and threaten the safety of a school and the community – hence the introduction of Safer School Officers (fully trained police officers). School A had one officer, and School B shared an officer with a few other schools in the borough. As of 2019, there were 420 full time police officers in London schools, with the government pushing to increase this number to 600 and Greater Manchester Police also calling for increased police presence in schools in the Greater Manchester area.
It is argued that police officers will make schools safer, but the question is safer for who? And if this really is the case, why are there not police officers in all schools? Our capital has over 400 police officers in schools, but there is definitely not one at the prestigious Harrow School – so, I ask again, who feels safe?