Devastation as school suffers major damage

Brought to you by the News Post Leader.
Brought to you by the News Post Leader.

A school community in Blyth is in shock after heartless vandals caused about £10,000 worth of damage.

Equipment, vehicles, classrooms and other facilities at Morpeth Road Primary Academy were hit over the summer holidays.

One of the mini-buses at Morpeth Road Primary Academy in Blyth that suffered extensive damage.

One of the mini-buses at Morpeth Road Primary Academy in Blyth that suffered extensive damage.

Three mini-buses used to take pupils on trips and locations for outdoor learning had windscreens smashed, wing mirrors broken and/or the back ends peppered with stones.

The back windows on one of the buses were also damaged and the total cost of the vandalism to these vehicles is between £6,000 and £7,000.

One of the Early Years playhouses was set on fire. This caused an estimated £500 damage, including the toys that were inside.

The other playhouse in this area, which is also used for intervention, had its locks smashed.

All the windows of the treehouse were broken, together with a huge amount of inside damage including the lighting system. The estimated repair costs are between £1,000 and £1,500.

An outdoor classroom was hit inside and outside, costing an estimated £570 damage. Benching and seating were broken.

In addition, £150 damage was caused by a fire to the inside of a teaching greenhouse.

The first vandalism at the site was discovered and reported in early August.

Staff have also had to contact the school last week and this week.

Morpeth Road Primary Academy executive headteacher Mike Bell said: “The school community is distraught that a person or persons could commit such acts of vandalism.

“We have a fantastic relationship with a huge majority of parents and we can’t think of anyone with a grudge against the school who would do something like this.

“This is just mindless damage and in 15 years as headteacher at Morpeth Road, I’ve never experienced this amount of vandalism.

“I am totally disgusted that people could do this to a school that cares and gives so much to our families.

“I’ve already spoken to a few ex-pupils and they are up in arms over the vandalism.

“The cost to repair all this damage will have to be taken from the school budget, which will result in fewer trips and educational experiences for our children. We will be strongly reviewing the security systems in place and adding further cameras.

“We will also be reviewing any further outdoor investments as a result of these crimes for fear they could be similarly destroyed.

“We hope that there will be a strong reaction from our community to this news. We need to show these vandals how strong we are together.

“We will pay a £100 reward for information leading to the prosecution of the person or persons who committed the damage.”

Anyone with information about the offences is asked to call Northumbria Police on 101, quoting reference 117 of 3/8/16 or 168 of 6/9/16.