A seven-year-old brought a knife into a Croydon primary school because he “wanted to stab another boy at an after-school club”, according to reports.

Staff at the school, which has not been named, became the boy was carrying the weapon, confiscating it immediately, an Evening Standard investigation revealed.

The headteacher contacted the charity Lives Not Knives, which has since provided the child one-on-one mentoring.

Eliza Rebeiro, founder of Lives Not Knives, told Evening Standard: “The sad thing about this incident is that it is no longer surprising to us.

“I get calls from two or three headteachers a month saying they have had ‘a massive incident involving a knife’ in their school and asking for our help with children as young as year three, aged seven or eight.

“How do you talk to children that young about knives?

“You want kids to have a childhood, but it is getting younger and younger and that means by the time they get to early teens they can already be desensitised.”

Lives Not Knives aims to prevent youth violence in London by offering tailored mentorship and advice to the young people, typically aged between nine and 21.

After two teenage boys died in separate stabbings in Woolwich and Lambeth, London’s teen death toll for the year reached 21.

There are to concerns that the grim tally will exceed the previous high of 27 in 2017.

New court orders aimed at stopping people as young as 12 from carrying knives are being trialled in the capital for 14 months.

Commander Ade Adelekan insists knife crime prevention orders (KCPOs) are aimed at trying to reach youngsters who are “on the cusp” of violence, and “will not criminalise” them but try to help turn them away from crime.

Under the pilot scheme, which could be rolled out to other forces in England and Wales, any officer can apply to a magistrates’ court for a KCPO to be imposed on a youngster they believe is carrying blades, regularly has knives or has knife-related convictions.