Thousands of children - one as young as four - have been caught carrying weapons into school, an investigation has found.
The shocking findings emerged after a number of Freedom of Information requests were obtained by the PA news agency. They revealed children have been found with knives, knuckle dusters as well as some more unusual weapons.
Police seized scores of knives, blades and other sharp instruments, while one 14-year-old was caught in possession of a sword.
In another case, Dyfed Powys recorded an unidentified four-year-old who is said to have been in possession of an unnamed weapon. They were unable to provide further details about the incident.
A pupil in Bedfordshire was caught in possession of machete, while others were accused of carrying a meat cleaver and a firearm – which was apparently used to threaten.
In Cambridgeshire, a relatively common toy known as a fidget spinner was adapted with a spike to be used as a weapon.
Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed a 14-year-old was handed a youth caution for bringing a sword into school, while peers the same age were also found to have been carrying a BB gun and a corkscrew.
Similarly, police in Greater Manchester said a samurai sword was recovered by officers investigating an allegation of having an article with a blade or point on school premises.
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The force also said officers charged a suspect for bringing a pair of gardening shears on site.
Leicestershire police said a 15-year-old was handed a youth caution for bringing nunchucks to school, while Norfolk constabulary said other pupils were found with a baton, a wooden stake and a pencil sharpener blade.
Northumbria Police’s list of weapons at school included a chair leg, a baseball bat, broken glass and a butter knife – the latter being found on a suspect aged 10 or younger.
Police in the Thames Valley reported a bayonet being discovered at school, while a hatchet and a hammer were used to threaten another person.
The force said other weapons involved in incidents at school included a machete, a Taser and a snooker ball.
West Midlands Police said a 15-year-old was cautioned for being caught in possession of an axe, while a 16-year-old was given a postal charge for possessing a zombie knife.
In Wiltshire, armoured gloves, a hammer and a shank were among the weapons allegedly used.
In all, knives were involved in 1,260 incidents in schools in England and Wales between April 2017 and August 2019, according to 23 police forces with relevant details. This included lock-knives, pen knives and craft knives.