Headteachers condemn serious acts of vandalism at Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard and Ormiston Sudbury Academy
The headteachers of neighbouring secondary schools have condemned the actions of mindless vandals, after both premises were targeted at the weekend.
Vandals – wearing sports caps and hoods – were captured on CCTV smashing glass door panels at Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard.
The school was vandalised during three separate incidents of Saturday, Sunday and Monday, during which the windows at the students’ entrance were smashed with heavy objects, before several computers and a vending machine were also damaged.
“It’s mindless foolishness,” said headteacher Wayne Lloyd, who estimated the cost of the damage at £10,000.
“It would appear their sole intent was to cause as much damage as possible in the short period of time that they were on the site.”
Following the first incident on Saturday, vandals returned to the school and regained entry to the site on Sunday and Monday morning, when they caused further damage.
Less than three miles away at Ormiston Sudbury Academy in Tudor Road, several windows were damaged during two separate incidents, which were carried out sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning, and the early hours of Monday.
Principal Caroline Wilson expressed her disgust at the incidents, which came five months after a similar episode.
“Students are coming to a place to learn and, unfortunately, it wasn’t looked at like that because these people don’t respect the value of education,” she said, adding that the school would be saddled with the repair cost.
“It’s very frustrating because it’s remarkably expensive to replace.”
Mrs Wilson expressed her disappointment that members of the school returned on Monday to find the windows vandalised.
“It’s not very pleasant for students and staff to have to see that,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking.”
It is not known what time the first incident took place on Sunday, but the intruder alarm is thought to have been triggered on Morning at around 2am.
Mrs Wilson highlighted the seriousness of the crime carried out by the perpetrators.
“It’s just a concern that people were there that time of night – and that’s the worry,” she said. “What kind of act were they looking to engage in?
“I have no idea who it was. I have left it in the hands of the police.”
Mr Lloyd meanwhile, pointed out that the cost of the damage would impact on the school’s funds.
“There is insurance, but resources will have to be diverted,” he said.
The windows, which have been boarded up, are due to be repaired at the weekend.
The vandals are thought to have targeted the school on Saturday and Sunday at 3am, before returning on Monday at around 2am.
“The site was perfectly safe before the students were back at school,” said Mr Lloyd, who commended the professionalism of staff at the school.
“The staff, and the students in particular, have been stoic,” he said.
In a letter sent to parents and carers, Mr Lloyd condemned the incidents.
He also expressed his gratitude to those who had denounced the acts of vandalism.
Mr Lloyd added: “Can I take this opportunity to thank those people who took the time to contact us – either in person or via social media – to offer their support and condemnation of the selfish mindlessness of the people involved.”
Anyone with any information about any of the incidents should contact Suffolk Police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.