THREE pupils have been expelled from a public school in York for possessing and using cannabis.

St Peter’s School in Bootham told The Press that an immediate investigation had been launched following a report of the possible use of the drug by pupils at the school.

It said in a statement that in view of the nature of the allegations, North Yorkshire Police were notified, and three pupils had now been “removed” from the school.

Asked to clarify whether they had been suspended or expelled, a spokeswoman said: “The pupils are no longer at the school, and will not be returning.”

The pupils have not been identified, and the spokeswoman declined to reveal their ages, or whether they were male or female.

The school, which dates back to 627 AD, takes in children aged 13 to 18, alongside its two junior schools St Olave’s and Clifton School.

Asked whether they had been involved in any drug dealing, she said: “The pupils were removed for the possession and use of cannabis. “Through our detailed investigation, we have found no suggestion that pupils were dealing in drugs.”

She said the school was not aware of any action by police.

Head Master Leo Winkley said St Peter’s held its pupils to very high standards of behaviour, and problems of this nature were rare at the school.

“Sadly, the availability of illegal drugs is a fact of modern life and it is up to schools and parents to work together to educate and protect young people and take clear action when necessary,” he said.

North Yorkshire Police said officers were looking into reports of possible drug offences being committed at the school. “At this stage, inquiries are in the early stages and we are unable to provide any further information,” said a spokeswoman.