POLICE were called to a County Durham primary school after a pupil was found carrying a knife.

Officers attended New Brancepeth Primary School, near Durham, last Friday following reports that a child had a knife.

Staff confiscated the knife and called the police, who attended to speak to the boy and his parents. 

Headteacher Louise Templeton said the matter was being taken “extremely seriously.”

She said: “I can confirm that an incident did take place at school on Friday 22 November and we are taking this matter extremely seriously.

“As soon as staff became aware of the incident, the item was confiscated and the police and the pupil’s parents were contacted.

“No pupils or staff were injured during the incident and we are now working closely with the child concerned and their family in conjunction with the local authority and police.

“Support is being offered to other pupils at the school and we will be taking steps to ensure our children are fully aware of the issues this matter has highlighted.

“Incidents of this kind are incredibly rare and we would like to reassure families and the local community that we have robust measures in place to ensure the safety of all pupils in our care.”

A spokesperson for Durham Police said:  “On November 22, we were made aware that a pupil had taken a pocket knife into New Brancepeth Primary School.

“Police officers spoke to the child and his parents. They clearly explained to the pupil the dangers and potential consequences of carrying a knife, and that it is a criminal offence to carry one.”

Last month, new data emerged showing children as young as eight have been caught with knives in the classroom in the last three years.

Police in the region recorded almost 150 crimes involving weapons at North-East schools in three years.

Earlier this year, police attended Wolsingham Primary School because of reports of a child having a craft knife.

And in March police were called to Greenland Community Primary School, in South Moor, near Stanley after a nine-year-old boy took a five inch kitchen knife into class.