Staff at a specialist school in Lancaster were left in shock after young vandals stole bikes worth £4,000 and caused damage during the half-term break.
Four children aged 13 and under have been identified by police following the incident at The Loyne Specialist School last Sunday afternoon, which was caught on CCTV.
The damage was discovered last Monday morning, and site supervisors spent the rest of the week cleaning up the grounds at the school in Sefton Drive, which caters for youngsters with specialist needs aged from two to 19.
The vandalism included fence paint thrown across a patio area, doors and windows, and sports equipment and gardening tools strewn across the playground.
Tools were also used to gain entry to a cycle store containing several bikes which were stolen. Among the £4,000 haul were a number of specially adapted scooters, some two-wheel bikes and a unique four-wheel low rider bike which was specially adapted for a Loyne pupil.
Headteacher Susan Campbell said everyone in school was left shocked and saddened by the incident.
“Watching the CCTV was quite distressing,” she said.
“Staff were horrified at the extent of the deliberate nature of the acts. We were really shocked that the young people didn’t understand the consequences of their actions on a school that has some of the most vulnerable children and young people in society.
“The Loyne will be working closely with the police and neighbouring schools to ensure the children responsible are identified and understand the extent of their actions.”
Mrs Campbell said staff were touched by the response of the local community.
“We had so many fantastic offers of help,” she said. “We had already done most of the work, but we wanted to say thank you to everybody.
“We feel very proud of the response. The fact that the community pulled together was of great value to us.”
A fundraising event will be held next month to raise money for the school. The Happy Healthy Me event on Thursday March 28, 6-8pm, is £5 (early bird tickets £3, under 16s free) and includes workshops, talks and live demonstrations, repurposed clothes and refreshments.