VANDALS forced a school to cancel its annual swimming gala and stop young pupils taking lessons.
The yobs have been targeting the pool at the Federation of Trosnant Schools in Leigh Park.
Groups of teenagers have been accessing the pool when the school site is locked and have used it as a toilet, vandalised the changing rooms and, according to parents, have even held pool parties.
The school, which teaches infants and juniors, drained the pool and closed it last month in a bid to stop the behaviour – but parents are still upset.
Samantha Clarke’s 11-year-old son Freddie is in Year 6 at Trosnant and has missed out on swimming lessons, which are part of the curriculum.
The 33-year-old said: ‘Parents are upset and angry about what’s been happening and we feel like nothing is being done about it.
‘The vandals have ruined the children’s swimming this term and this year’s gala was the last one my son could have participated in before he leaves for secondary school.
‘He’s absolutely gutted he won’t get the chance.
‘Parents have met with governors at the school and have suggested raising funds for a pool cover, vandal paint, more cameras – anything.
‘We’re desperate for something to be done so our kids don’t miss out.
‘We’ve even said we’ll patrol the grounds.’
Today governors will make a decision about the future of the pool. The Federation of Trosnant Schools is featured on Hampshire police’s summer high-visibility plan as a hotspot area for patrols.
In two weeks, police received six complaints from nearby residents about anti-social behaviour.
Reports involved groups of up to 20 youths at a time.
Officers confirmed during one incident the youths were found throwing chairs around, and another time they refused to leave when asked.
Ruth White, chair of governors, said the school felt it had no choice but to close the pool.
She said: ‘The youths have been putting safety at risk by jumping from the top of the changing rooms into the shallow end of the pool.
‘Staff are very upset it’s being spoilt in this way, as well as concerned pupils are missing the opportunity to swim.
‘We’re actively investigating alternative arrangements for lessons.
‘Governors will consider the views of parents and residents and the options open to the school, and make a decision about the pool’s future.’