Tackling a culture in which it's seen as "cool" to carry knives is the challenge facing teachers, parents and Ministers, Education Secretary Alan Johnson warned yesterday.
During a visit to Birmingham, he said teachers needed the power to "stop and search" pupils to clampdown on weapons being brought into schools.
And he added raising the age limit at which young people were able to buy knives to 18 would also help.
Mr Johnson spoke in the wake of a spate of stabbings in Birmingham in less than a fortnight.
A 20-year-old man was found stabbed to death in the front garden of his home in Sparkhill on Tuesday night.
Last Bank Holiday Monday Marlvin Jiro died from knife wounds to the chest after being attacked in Hockley.
Just days earlier, 14-year-old Mohammed Ahmed Hussain was knifed in the stomach while playing football with friends outside The Heartlands School.
Mr Johnson, who recently took over from Ruth Kelly as Education Secretary, said he was concerned about the rising tide of knife attacks.
"It worries me tremendously. Two stabbings happened outside a school and involved schoolchildren.
"Across departments as a whole we need to address this. So we are lifting the age limit at which you can buy knives.
"The Violent Crime Reduction Bill gives teachers and headteachers the power to stop and search pupils in schools. We are looking at a series of measures such as the knives amnesty, but the big problem is a cultural one where it is cool to carry knives, it is macho to carry knives, or you think you need to carry a knife because you might get attacked."
Mr Johnson added challenging knife culture "takes more than legislation".
"It involves Government and parents and teachers working together to tackle it.
"It is a huge problem right across Government. We are particularly keen in my department to make sure we tackle it."
Mr Johnson was speaking to The Birmingham Post during visit to South Birmingham College's Centre for the Built Environment in Bordesley Green. The Secretary of State hailed the centre - which delivers real-life vocational training in areas such as bricklaying and plumbing - an example to the rest of the country.
He also attacked Britain's "lack of respect" for vocational qualifications.
"There is a snobbery in England that academic qualifications are superior to vocational qualifications which has dogged us as an issue for too many years," he said.
"At the same time there is a high level of kids who drop out of education at 16 or 17."
In a speech at Birmingham's International Convention Centre earlier, Mr Johnson called on teachers and politicians to stop talking about "vocational" courses and use the word "professional" instead. Getting businesses involved in designing courses and using the word "professional" to describe them would raise their status, he said.
Speaking to an audience of college principals, inspectors and lecturers in Birmingham, Mr Johnson claimed improving further education was crucial to Britain's future.
Poor basic skills among adults cost the UK £10 billion a year in lost productivity meaning we lag behind our competitors, such as France and Germany.
Mr Johnson stressed the further education sector was "well placed to meet these challenges".