Monday, 23 October 2017

School raises security after vandal attacks

SECURITY has been stepped up at Kidmore End Primary School following a series of vandal attacks.

The site is now locked during the evenings and at weekends following a number of incidents over the past few months.

Equipment has been taken out of storage and trashed while other items were thrown on to the roof of the building in Chalkhouse Green Road.

Headteacher Linda Hull said: “My primary concern is that there will be some more serious damage done to our school premises.

“I also feel very sad that we have been forced into putting up barriers to our local community in closing the site.

“While we warmly welcome community and church use, this is now more complicated.

“I suspect the people who are doing this don’t think about the consequences of their actions.” The first attack took place during the summer holidays last year when new football goals were broken, playground games were thrown into a skip and other equipment thrown on to the roof.

The vandals returned multiple times over the next few weeks. During the autumn term there were no incidents but the vandals returned over the Christmas holidays and during last month’s half-term break.

Mrs Hull said: “Things were again thrown on to the roof, equipment taken out of sheds and thrown around and, most recently, a lock on a shed was jammed so that it had to be cut off.”

The school decided to close its premises completely at weekends on the advice of the police. Previously the gates were left open so the school could be used by the church choir to practise and the playground could be used for car parking.

Now the gates are locked and can only be opened by authorised users.

Mrs Hull said: “We still welcome the church and community use of the site and are working with them to ensure they can access the playground for parking or for events.

“It does feel sad that we have had to do this as a result of the actions of a few individuals.”

Meanwhile, the Kidmore End School Association has had to replace some of the equipment.

Mrs Hull said: “Site staff have had to take risks getting things down from the roof and clearly when equipment and toys are thrown around they become damaged and need to be replaced.

“The children have been very cross about the vandalism and have had various suggestions for me, including installing cameras. We won’t be put off improving the playground for our children by this silly behaviour.

“It is very unpleasant, though, to return from holidays and see our playground strewn with equipment which we have taught the children in school to value and respect.

“On a positive note, we are hugely fortunate to have excellent support and care from our parents, who do a fabulous job of fund-raising, and our neighbours who I know are helping us be vigilant for any further problems.”

• The school is holding a competition for pupils to design a banner to be placed outside to stop people parking on the yellow zig-zag lines in Chalkhouse Green Road.

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