Vandals break in to outdoor classroom at Fareham special school

12/1/18

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Pupils walk to school as part of Portsmouth council challenge

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A HEADTEACHER has told of his anger after a classroom at his school was broken into and trashed over half-term.

The room at St Francis Special School in Fareham suffered damage and was covered in graffiti.

Pupils, from left, Hannah Zeffertt, Bradley Smith and James French   Picture: Sarah Standing (151841-79)

Pupils, from left, Hannah Zeffertt, Bradley Smith and James French Picture: Sarah Standing (151841-79)

Staff first discovered the damage on Tuesday, October 27.

The site manager repaired it, but further damage was discovered two days later on Thursday, October 29 and again on the day pupils returned to school on Monday this week.

The room is used for workshops and creative activities.

Children’s work was destroyed, windows and furniture were smashed and Christmas decorations ruined.

Our kids have got really challenging or medical needs or severe learning difficulties. They don’t deserve this at all

Steve Hollinghurst, headteacher

The damage will cost about £1,000 to repair.

Headteacher Steve Hollinghurst said it’s devastating for the children.

‘Over the years we have tolerated lots of people using our grounds to meet up,’ he said. ‘But they step over that line when they start to damage the property by breaking in.

‘Our kids have got challenging medical needs or severe learning difficulties. They don’t deserve this. We can’t use that room at all now.’

Mr Hollinghurst said it has been damaging for the children too.

‘The students came to me and said that they were upset.

‘They asked me what I could do about it so I took them to talk to the caretaker and we had a little meeting.

‘We decided we wouldn’t let it upset us too much because that’s not right. We don’t want these people to have achieved in doing that.

‘Now we want to prevent it from happening in the future.’

Pupil Bradley Smith, 18, said: ‘It makes me angry and sad.’

Anyone who has any information is asked to call Hampshire police on 101 quoting reference number 44150373049.