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Tenterden Infant School targeted by vandals again

By Rachael Woods

Vandals have struck YET AGAIN at an infant school, wrecking a reception class outdoor play area.

Tenterden Infant School’s covered outdoor classroom was trashed by yobs who ripped a bug hotel apart, created a mini skateboard ramp from tyres and a table, broke garden furniture and left a trail of litter in their wake.

Foundation stage leader Jen Taylor said: “We suspect that youths are coming over the junior school fence and gathering under the canopied outdoor classroom where it is dry.

The outdoor classroom at Tenterden Infants' was trashed
The outdoor classroom at Tenterden Infants' was trashed

“It appears they have been using the furniture to make ramps for skateboarding.

“The children who use the area are the very youngest in the school, who are four and five years old, and we didn’t want to tell them about the damage that happened over the Christmas holidays as it would be too upsetting for them.

“Our outdoor classroom was left in an unsafe and uninviting state, which is then taking up staff time to return it to a safe space when they should be working to support the children.”

Furniture was moved around as vandals struck
Furniture was moved around as vandals struck

Miss Taylor said the vandals had struck the area before, including during the weekend of the Tentertainment festival in July, when they had left stubbed out cigarettes in the children’s sandpit, which was littered with discarded beer cans.

She stressed that safety was paramount in an area used by the youngest children in the school, which had to be thoroughly checked and cleaned before the youngsters could be allowed to play in it.

Last spring the garden at the adjacent Tenterden Junior School was wrecked by yobs who ripped a picnic bench from its base and threw it in the pond, stamped on ladybirds and tore bird nesting boxes from their posts.

The bug hotel at the school was broken up and the wood used for ramps
The bug hotel at the school was broken up and the wood used for ramps

But staff and children were then overwhelmed by the generosity of their community as donations came flooding in to replace the damaged equipment, landscaping services were offered and replacement plants brought in.

Miss Taylor said the school was “fed up” with the vandalism that was occurring during weekends and school holidays, which was costing both time and money.

She urged parents of teenagers to be aware of where their older children are during these times.

Reception teacher Jen Taylor
Reception teacher Jen Taylor

Police said the offences are believed to have taken place sometime between December 21 and January 3.

No suspects have been identified but anyone with any information is asked to call 01843 222289, quoting crime reference ZY/307/17.

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