Night of chaos as local schools come under attack

GUTTED: St Bernadette's P4 pupils, l-r, Zofia Felinska, Ciaran Shuel, Callum Mathieson and Miranne Ross inspect some of the damage with head teacher Christine Boyle.
GUTTED: St Bernadette's P4 pupils, l-r, Zofia Felinska, Ciaran Shuel, Callum Mathieson and Miranne Ross inspect some of the damage with head teacher Christine Boyle.

North Lanarkshire Council has been left with a massive repair bill after four schools were attacked by vandals on Sunday night.

Arsonists struck at Netherton Primary School, while St Bernadette’s Primary in Motherwell was broken into and flooded.

Outwith the Times & Speaker circulation area, there was a further fire at Thornlie PS in Pather, while the Wishaw Academy / St Ignatius joint campus was broken into.

It is not yet clear if all four incidents are linked.

Fire crews rushed to Netherton PS following emergency calls around 7.30pm, finding a new extension under construction ablaze. Fortunately, the fire was quickly extinguished and the damage is ‘minimal’.

However, the worst affected from the evening of chaos appears to be St Berndatte’s, where the culprits broke in and smashed the water pipes in the boiler room.

Damage worth ‘tens of thousands of pounds’ was caused as water flooded from the second floor into a classroom and a resource area.

Councillor Jim Logue, NLC’s convener of learning and leisure services, said: “The amount of damage done is among the worst we’ve ever known in a single weekend.

“The flood damage at St Bernadette’s Primary includes one classroom, a resource room, one toilet and part of a classroom assistant’s room are all affected.

“We will provide whatever support we can to the schools affected but this will come from our already stretched education budget.

“Schools are the focal point for our communities and are a source of identity and pride. People with information must contact the police and the people behind these attacks made to realise the implications of their actions.”

For more, see this week’s Times - out on Wednesday.