Concern over ‘consensual’ search of pupils

The Children and Young People Commissioner Scotland (CYPCS) has said that they continue to have serious concerns about consensual search of pupils.

The Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, had stated that he will not create a new statutory power for teachers to search pupils for weapons in school. However he indicated that children and young people could be searched by teachers on a ‘consensual’ basis. However CYPCS said:

“We remain concerned, however, that the Deputy First Minister believes it acceptable for children and young people to be searched by teachers on a ‘consensual’ basis.

The concept of ‘consensual’ when searching a child or a young person has been proven to be a misnomer. A power imbalance naturally exists between a child and an adult. When that adult is in a position of authority, that power imbalance is exacerbated. As such, any ‘consent’ to such a search cannot be said to be freely given.”

You can read the full statement here:



Image credit Alan Cleaver, CC by 2.0