A CAMPAIGNER has called for more to be done to keep knives and drugs out of school playgrounds.

Parents have raised concerns following incidents at primary and secondary schools in Colchester.

Caroline Shearer set up the Only Cowards Carry charity after her son Jay Whiston was murdered.

She said the charity receives calls from schools across Essex some of which have had a problem with weapons or drugs on the premises and some who want help to educate their pupils to prevent a problem.

Mrs Shearer said: “We always knew there was a problem but everyone is starting to realise it is a bigger problem than we thought.

“Children have always walked around with knives but what happens now is children are being stabbed with them rather than whittling a bit of wood.”

Earlier this term a ten-year-old was caught with a knife at Myland Community Primary School in Colchester.

Headteacher Debbie Griggs confirmed the incident had been reported to Essex County Council and dealt with.

Mrs Shearer said: “We had calls from other primary schools in north Essex reporting similar things.

“Some headteachers think they can deal with it on their own.”

She warned people need to realise without more education, a child will die in a school in the area.

Mrs Shearer said: “They are only just starting to listen. Kids are being killed daily. How many more times do people need to be killed?”

 AN investigation has been launched after allegations students at St Benedict’s Catholic College, off Norman Way, Colchester, were caught with drugs on school premises.

The school is less than a mile from where Jay Whiston was fatally stabbed.

St Benedict’s college principal Jo Santinelli said: “We take any kind of drug misuse extremely seriously and have robust procedures in place to tackle it.

“I would like to reassure parents any allegations are thoroughly investigated and dealt with appropriately in accordance with our behaviour policy.”