Manchester

Rochdale school hit by 'soul-destroying' attacks

damaged classroom Image copyright St John the Baptist
Image caption The attacks have left pupils' work ruined and classrooms trashed

A primary school has had classrooms trashed, paint daubed in corridors and attempts made to set furniture on fire during five break-ins in two months.

Rochdale's St John the Baptist RC Primary School has also seen pupils' work ruined and glass smashed.

Head teacher Michael Unsworth said the damage was "soul-destroying" and the school had spent thousands on anti-climb measures and shutters.

Rochdale Council said it was "appalling that people would do this to a school".

Image copyright St John the Baptist
Image caption Greater Manchester Police said it was "devastating" to see the school "repeatedly targeted"

Mr Unsworth said alongside outdoor equipment being "thrown around and damaged" and paint being "spread all over the corridor", there had been "attempts to set fire to the wooden canopy and furniture".

"We try and make sure [the children] don't see the vandalism, but then that's keeping them out of the classroom," he said.

"If their books are damaged, then there's no way of hiding that from them."

"To see the school treated in such a nasty way is soul-destroying," he said.

He added he hoped new security measure would "be the end of it", but he was concerned that would mean "it just moves on to another school".

Image copyright St John the Baptist
Image caption The school has had to spend thousands on anti-climb measures and shutters

The council said it had worked with the school to provide "advice and reassurances around additional and existing security measures and CCTV".

Greater Manchester Police's Sgt Danny Shirazi said it was "devastating" to see the school "repeatedly targeted in this way", but the local policing team were working "to prevent further offences taking place".

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