Top school expels pupils over drugs

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The Independent Online

Four pupils have been expelled from one of Britain's top public schools after being caught with drugs, it was disclosed today.

A further 15 students at the prestigious Fettes College in Edinburgh were suspended following an investigation by staff.

The expulsions were made after the students were discovered with cannabis on school grounds after concerned pupils alerted teachers.

All the pupils involved are understood to be aged 16 and 17.

Police were called but no arrests were made at the school.

Former pupils at the school include former prime minister Tony Blair, ex-Rangers chairman Sir David Murray and Hollywood actress Tilda Swinton.

The college, which charges £24,000 a year for boarders, said it exercised a "zero tolerance approach" to illegal substance abuse.

Headmaster Michael Spens said: "While it is highly regrettable that a small minority of pupils have shown very poor judgment, their actions must not be allowed to detract from the highly laudable achievements of the school as a whole.

"The large majority of Fettesians embrace fully the moral framework of the college and they continue to be the personable, confident, positive and successful young men and women of whom we are justifiably proud."

Fettes was established in 1870 and students follow the English curriculum, studying for A-levels and GCSEs.

A statement from the school said: "This investigation was started because various pupils alerted the staff to the fact that certain Fettes students were using cannabis.

"In common with the majority of Fettesians, these individuals wanted no part of this and, furthermore, were adamant that they did not want any sort of drug culture to gain a foothold at Fettes.

"They are to be warmly commended for their courage and willingness to say 'no'."

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: "Police were called to Fettes College on Monday regarding allegations of drugs misuse among a number of pupils.

"No arrests have been made, and inquiries are ongoing."