Published: 07:00, 26 November 2015
A school community has been left appalled after vandals broke in, drew graffiti and urinated over the youngest children’s books and outdoor toys.
Kate Luxford, head teacher at Sandown Primary in Golf Road, said the “mindless” damage has affected the four and five-year-olds in the reception year who could not use the area to play in until it had been thoroughly cleaned.
She said: “We’re devastated. It has never happened here before – not since I’ve been here.”
The vandalism was reported to police on Monday after the early years teachers did their usual morning risk assessment of the enclosure, where the school’s tiniest pupils play.
In the summerhouse, “unpleasant” graffiti, drawn in chalk was the first thing they noticed.
“We’re devastated. It has never happened here before” - Kate Luxford, head teacher Sandown Primary
“These people had obviously gone in there, sat down and had been smoking something in there and left mess,” she said.
“During the course of the morning, when the teachers were continuing to look and make sure nothing else had happened, they discovered these people had decided to urinate over our books and outdoor toys.
“We always make sure the teachers go out and do a risk assessment every morning before anyone goes out, so the children weren’t actually exposed to it.
“I’m hoping that the police can catch whoever is responsible.”
Texts were sent to parents via the school’s SMS messaging service and it prompted a quick response. Some got in touch with information which will be passed to police along with CCTV images that were captured.
A thorough clean-up has been performed by a band of cleaners. The graffiti has been wiped off and urine soaked items have been thrown away.
Mrs Luxford added: “The school community is really cross about this.
“The only people it has impacted is the little ones who have just started school here.”
A Kent Police spokesman said: "I can confirm that police are investigating a report of criminal damage at Sandown CP School that happened at some time over the weekend.
"Anyone with information is asked to contact Kent Police on 101. Alternatively, if you have information but would prefer to remain anonymous call Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 quoting crime number: ZY/37163/15."