St Kentigern's Academy in Blackburn Pic: John Easton

A 13-year-old boy has been charged after a 14-year-old pupil was slashed in the face with a knife at a school in West Lothian.

The injured boy is being treated at St John’s Hospital in Livingston following the incident at St Kentigern’s Academy in Blackburn just before 09:00.

He is thought to have suffered a serious facial injury.

Police confirmed a teenager had been charged and said a report would be sent to the procurator fiscal.

It is understood there was a fight in the canteen, which was busy with about 200 people.

The injured boy was slashed in the face with what is believed to have been a kitchen knife, thought to have been brought into the school by another boy.

Anti-knife campaign

Supt Craig Smith, of Police Scotland’s Lothians and Scottish Borders Division, said: “Violent incidents of this nature are thankfully rare in West Lothian schools and we are continuing to work with West Lothian Council to reassure pupils and the wider community.

“There will be a continued police presence at St Kentigern’s for the time being and additional support will be in place for pupils as they return to school on Wednesday.

“I would encourage any pupils or parents with concerns to contact either staff at St Kentigern’s Academy or their local police station via 101.”

A council spokesman said: “West Lothian Council makes the safety of the pupils in our care our top priority.

“We have been working with Police Scotland on a number of initiatives to promote pupil safety in our schools recently, including delivering the No Knives, Better Lives campaign to educate young people on the consequences of knife crime.

“It is not appropriate to say more while the police investigation is ongoing.”

‘Worrying and frightening’

Parents collecting their children from the school expressed shock and concern at the news.

Karen Beveridge was called by her daughter following the incident.

She told BBC Scotland: “It’s worrying and frightening. I’m not frightened for myself but for my child.

“I don’t expect an incident like this anywhere, but especially not in a school.”

Mrs Beveridge added: “It’s an alarming message to get on your phone, saying that there’s been an incident at the school involving a knife.”

Livingston SNP MP Hannah Bardell said: “I have spoken to West Lothian Council, the justice secretary and the education secretary.

“This is a serious but thankfully extremely rare incident.

“West Lothian Council and the police are working with the school and those involved and I will be seeking a meeting with them as a matter of urgency.”

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