Bailey death: report findings

Bailey Gwynne
Bailey Gwynne

An official report has concluded that the death of schooboy Bailey Gwynne could potentially have been avoided if pupils had told staff his killer was carrying a knife.

An independent inquiry into circumstances surrounding the tragedy, which reported this morning, also said the Scottish Government should give headteachers greater powers to search pupils suspected of carrying weapons.

It has also called on ministers to bring in greater legal controls surrounding the purchase of weapons online.

The 16-year-old died after being stabbed at Cults Academy last October.

A pupil, also 16, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of culpable homicide and detained for nine years.

Following the conviction, an independent review headed by child protection expert Andrew Lowe, was commissioned by Aberdeen City Council, NHS Grampian and Police Scotland in an attempt to establish events that led to the killing.

The inquiry has examined the relationship between Bailey and his killer, known as Child A in the report, and the educational, pastoral, health and social care services provided.

Mr Lowe’s report, containing a series of recommendations, found Bailey’s death resulted from an “unplanned, spontaneous conflict that emerged rapidly out of an unexceptional banter.

“It is not considered that it could have been predicted or averted on the day”.

However, the report added: “The course of the conflict was fatally altered by the possession of a bladed weapon by one of the boys.

“This was potentially predictable and avoidable if those who knew Child A carried weapons in school had reported this to staff.”

A joint statement on the conclusions from Aberdeen City Council, Police Scotland and NHS Grampian said: “Firstly, it is of course, impossible to begin with anything other than a reflection on what took place at Cults Academy a year ago.

“What happened then was a tragedy which saw a young life lost and had a traumatic impact on so many others lives.

“The Chief Officers Group pays tribute to the extraordinary dignity and fortitude shown by Bailey’s family.

“We also gratefully acknowledge the incrediable work undertaken by many staff across our organisations as the terrible events unfolded on the 28th of October.

“The Chief Officers Group and the teams we represent are determined to implement any changes to practice that aim to decrease the likelihood of such an awful event taking place in the future.

“But we are well aware that no amount of future change will alter the fact that Bailey is no longer with us and that his loss continues to be keenly felt.”

The full report on the teenager’s death has not been published because of legal and data protection reasons.