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Press Conference Statement: Cults Academy

29/10/15

Aberdeen City Council Leader, Councillor Jenny Laing, was joined at a press conference today by Aberdeen City Council's Deputy Leader, Marie Boulton; Chief Executive, Angela Scott; the Director of Education and Children's Services, Gayle Gorman; and Chief Superintendent Adrian Watson of Police Scotland.

Councillor Laing, statement:

"I am sure I speak for the whole community of Aberdeen in expressing my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Bailey Gwynne.  The loss of a young life – so full of potential – is always a great tragedy. But these circumstances are particularly distressing as it occurred in a place of learning, friendship and community. When you send your children to school you expect them to be in a place of safety and in a place where they will be equipped for their life ahead. That opportunity has been denied to Bailey.

My message to the people of Aberdeen and beyond is that this tragic loss of life represents a unique set of circumstances and is extremely rare – if not unheard of – in our city and its schools. For this tragedy to take place in one of the safest cities in Scotland is of course a terrible irony – and means that we feel the pain of Bailey's family as one big extended community. We will not allow this tragedy to deflect us from supporting our young people as they make their way in the world.

As you may know we have put in place a package of support measures for the pupils, families and staff at Cults Academy – we have Psychologists, social workers, counsellors and nurses on site as we speak and we have a helpline that people who have been affected by this tragedy can call.

This support will continue into next week and I know that a series of supportive assemblies are planned for Monday as the young people return to school.

Before I conclude I want to pay tribute to the pupils, families and staff at Cults Academy for pulling together at this time. The teaching staff at Cults are ably led by Anna Muirhead and our thoughts are with them all. Finally, I would like to thank Police Scotland and all the emergency services for their work and support. Council officers will of course continue to support the ongoing investigation."