Headteacher ‘devastated’ after vandals target school

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Vandals trashed children’s toys and pelted soil at the windows of a primary school, while it was closed for the holidays.

The headteacher of Moorthorpe Primary School said staff and parents were “devastated” by the attack, which took place last week.

Pauline Pollard, who has been the head at the South Elmsall school for more than two decades, said the yobs had inflicted the worst damage she had ever seen.

She said: “It is really upsetting that someone would do this, especially in a place where children come to learn and play and in an environment where we teach the importance of respect.

“The children have been told what has happened and they were shocked to hear about it.

“It is rare for us to experience an incident like this but it really is devastating.”

Mrs Pollard said the school caretaker discovered the mess.

She said the vandals had smashed windows, splatted a mix of compost and water over the building, climbed onto the roof and thrown off tiles and damaged outdoor toys and furniture.

Mrs Pollard said: “It is really upsetting the fact that we have had this vandalism and on this scale.

“In the 23 years that I have been here, this is by far the worst I have known it.”

She added: “I think quite a few schools and businesses have been affected by vandals in the last month or so. It seems to be an ongoing problem in the area.”

Parents and staff worked alongside property and services company ENGIE to clear up the mess ahead of the school re-opening after the Easter break this week.

A group of parents have also launched a fundraising campaign to cover the costs of replacing toys and to help make the school more secure.

Mrs Pollard said: “I can’t thank people enough for helping us. The community has really pulled together. It is their school and their community.”

West Yorkshire Police said officers were investigating reports of vandalism.

The force said police were contacted on Tuesday, April 18 and were told there had been damage to the roof and windows of the school on Regent Street.

Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting crime reference number 13170173763.