Vandal attack forces school to stay closed

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A SCHOOL has been left with a bill for thousands of pounds after vandals smashed its heating system.

Glade Primary School, in Knappers Way, Brandon, was shut on the first day of the new term as engineers were called in to fix the damage.

The vandals’ handiwork was discovered by the school’s caretaker on Monday morning, leaving insufficient time for repairs to take place for the school to reopen on Wednesday.

And the town’s Forest Academy, in Bury Road, has also been the victim of burglars.

Lead was stolen from the roof two weeks prior to Christmas and the school has been hit four times in the last six months by burglars.

Andy Smith, Glade Primary School, head teacher. said it was the third time the school had been targeted since August.

Thieves had previously stolen lead flashing from the school’s roof and smashed up an air conditioning unit.

Poor weather following those incidents then caused further rain damage to the school.

The cost of repairs ran to more than £1,000.

Mr Smith said: “This is money that could have been spent on the children and resources.

“The school has had to close on the first day back after Christmas because it’s like an ice box here.

“That means 180 children can’t come in.”

Maria Curry, principal at Forest Academy, said the school had suffered repeated thefts recently.

“In the last six months to a year there have been at least four times that people have been on the roof and taken lead and caused damage.

“It’s meant major expense for the school which, in these days of tight budgets, is money we don’t want to be spending.”

Ms Curry said she thought the vandals probably saw the school as a ‘soft option’.

Echoing Mr Smith’s concerns about disruption to the school calendar, she added: “If we come in on a Monday morning and the roof might leak then we have to cordon off areas of the school.”

Forest Academy has now put a lead substitute in place in an effort to deter thieves.