Boys excluded after being caught selling valium at top city school

SPACED-OUT students have been excluded from a leading Capital school for dealing and taking drugs, the Evening News can reveal.

Friday, 5th October 2018, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 5th October 2018, 4:10 pm
Pupils have been excluded from the city's Royal High School. Picture: Jon Savage

A handful of boys are understood to have binged on valium pills, also known as diazepam, at Barnton’s historic Royal High School.

Police have been called in while the revelation has prompted crisis talks with parents and teachers now conducting regular drug patrols.

A City of Edinburgh Council spokesman said: “Staff acted swiftly when they became aware last week of concerns about the well-being of several pupils.

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“As a result, the pupils involved were excluded and the school is assisting the police with their inquiries.”

Rector Pauline Walker is understood to have informed staff the boys were allegedly involved in dealing and taking drugs during school time.

Staff will now work with the boys’ families in a bid to improve their behaviour to prevent any repeat.

And teachers are expected to volunteer for regular drugs patrols of the school grounds in a fresh crackdown.

The school gates and wooded areas within the school grounds are believed to be a focus as teachers seek to reinforce a zero tolerance approach to drugs.

Students involved are understood to have been told to stay away from the school for a few days but are now back in class.

But some are thought to want sterner measures with fears that the wrong message has been sent out to the rest of the school.

A source told the Evening News: “The staff are peed off about it. There’s a feeling it’s not being taken seriously enough.

“They’ve been taking drugs on the premises - it’s a problem and some of the kids are bad ones.”

The council-run Royal High School is one of the oldest schools in Scotland - founded in 1128 - and a fully comprehensive, non-denominational high school.

It has been located at various sites across the Capital through the centuries, including for more than 100 years at the famous Regent Road building on Calton Hill.

The Royal High School celebrates half a century at its current site this year having moved to Barnton in 1968 - undergoing a £10m refit 15 years ago.

A number of anniversary events are planned including a gala dinner in June, sponsored walk and procession last month and a captains’ dinner in November.

The school’s famous former students include Ronnie Corbett, Sir Walter Scott and Alexander Graham Bell.

Last month, a public inquiry into the future of the former Regent Road site got under way.

A police spokeswoman confirmed officers were called in to the 1,200-student mixed school last Tuesday.

“Police were called to a report of concern about the well-being of several people in the East Barnton Avenue area of Edinburgh around 4pm on Tuesday 25 September,” she added.

“Enquiries continue. There are no long term health concerns for those involved.”