Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School was found to be containing 1.5kg worth of cocaine inside staff accommodation. Is it time to question the safety and responsibility of the school?

The independent school has always been reputable and respected until the recent incident with drugs. With the drug worth coming up to over £200,000, it has left many parents as well as the public concerned about the safety of the school and whether it is as incredible as it seems.

The stashes of cocaine were found inside the staff building and the school caretaker, Justin Terry, has been suspended and has been charged with conspiracy for holding 1.5kg of cocaine and amphetamine. Another male, Martin Walsh has also been arrested for having a connection in the operation.

Although the school has claimed the offences do not relate to other members of the school community, questions have to be raised. The independent school in Hertfordshire costs roughly £21,000 per year to attend and with parents funding the school, it seems unexpected to have such a major incident happen at the site. Haberdashers was also named the Sunday Times Independent School of the Year in 2017 and is best known for their outstanding results.

A force spokesman claimed the school was “fully supportive” of the search and they weren’t aggressive.

Fortunately the criminals have been caught but there is a bigger question in hand: how safe are private schools? Although the criminals had haven’t been charged with an intent to supply, if they hadn’t been caught when they had, would students been at risk? With more and more young people falling into the inescapable lives of drugs, it is possible students could have been in danger?

Private schools have best known to be safe, nurturing environments with outstanding grades but after this unexpected incident, the reliability of these independent schools has to be questioned. Despite many schools having strict policies regarding illegal highs, do more rigorous searches need to be conducted?

Is this incident simply a result of a lack of a thorough background check or is there a deeper issue a hand?