SCOTTISH teachers could get more powers to search pupils suspected of carrying weapons following an inquiry into the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Bailey Gwynne.

The final report of the inquiry has recommended the Scottish Government look at changing the law to allow school staff to search pupils.

At present, pupils can only be searched by school staff if they agree. If they refuse, schools can contact parents or the police to carry out a search.

In 2007 headteachers in England were granted the powers to search pupils suspected of having weapons and in 2010 the power was extended to include drugs, alcohol and stolen goods. However, the Scottish Government has always resisted a similar move north of the Border.

Child protection expert Andrew Lowe will today publish his report into 16-year-old Bailey’s death at the city’s Cults Academy in October last year.

He is also expected to recommend that more effective rules on when and how to search pupils even when they give consent is also published.

Bailey's killer, who is aged 16 and cannot be named for legal reasons, was jailed for nine years in March after being found guilty of culpable homicide at the High Court in Aberdeen.

Mr Lowe, who is chairman of child and adult protection for Renfrewshire, was brought in by the police, Aberdeen Council and NHS Grampian to look at any lessons which could be learned.

He is expected to conclude that the incident could not have reasonably been prevented, although there is concern some pupils who were aware the assailant had a knife did not report the matter to staff.

Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, said most teachers were aware that any physical contact with pupils was “problematic”.

He said: “We would certainly not want to see teachers responsible for carrying out physical searches of pupils and most will know the dangers of doing that.

“Teachers would be more likely to ask a pupil to empty their pockets or their bag voluntarily, but then contact a member of the senior management team if they refuse. Parents and police would then be contacted depending on the severity of the case.”

Seamus Searson, general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association, said new guidance to clarify the law would be welcome, but not new powers.

“We should not be going down the road of encouraging teachers to search pupils for weapons. It would not do any harm to reiterate the existing guidelines so that all teachers, particularly those that are new to the profession, know where they stand.”

A spokesman for School Leaders Scotland, which represents secondary headteachers, said: “The expectation is that teachers do not search pupils’ bags or jackets.

“If a situation arises where there is a suspicion that a pupil has possession of weapons or drugs then local authorities would advise that staff contact the police and that is what we would advise our members to do.”

Bailey was stabbed following a row over a biscuit. His killer had been accused of murder but was convicted of the lesser charge of culpable homicide by a jury and was also found guilty of two other charges of having a knife and knuckledusters at the school.

During evidence, it emerged that Bailey, a hard-working fifth-year pupil with four young brothers, suffered a major loss of blood after receiving the single stab wound to the heart.

The 3.3in knife was illegally bought by Bailey’s killer from online retailer Amazon and delivered to his family home. One witness told the court he had seen him with a knife at school “maybe 25 times” before the stabbing. The boy had no previous convictions, nor was there any record of him having been violent in the past.