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Vandals put exam success in jeopardy

PUBLISHED: 12:53 18 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:07 03 March 2010

MINDLESS criminals have put the exam success of art students at a Suffolk school in jeopardy after destroying their work during a vandalism spree.

Paintings and other A-level and GCSE projects were wrecked and a computer worth over £1,000 was smashed during the break in at Stowmarket High School.

MINDLESS criminals have put the exam success of art students at a Suffolk school in jeopardy after destroying their work during a vandalism spree.

Paintings and other A-level and GCSE projects were wrecked and a computer worth over £1,000 was smashed during the break-in at Stowmarket High School.

Headteacher David Oliver was dismayed at the destruction, which happened sometime between Saturday lunchtime and yesterday morning.

He said: "We came in this morning and found that an art room had been broken into. It seems that whoever did it was frustrated that they could not get in to the rest of the school so they just went wild.

"They smashed a computer with what appears to have been a hammer and sprayed paint and glue all over the place.

"It was just mindless – once they got in there they just lost it. We reckon there were two or three people from the footprints around."

Mr Oliver hopes that the damage to the students' work will not affect their performance in summer exams.

He added: "We are very upset because some of the work was exam work but happily the moderators will take a lenient view and have delayed their visit for a week so we can get things cleaned up."

This is the second vandal attack at a school in the Stowmarket area in recent times.

Last April, a mobile classroom for pupils with special needs was broken into at Chilton Primary School. Paint was sprayed all over the room, tables and chairs were overturned and musical instruments damaged, prompting the headteacher to call for CCTV equipment to prevent a repeat of the shocking incident.

Mr Oliver does not feel that his school needs a drastic increase in security and is confident that fellow Stowmarket High pupils were not involved because it is the first such incident in the six years he has been in charge.

He said: "We have been talking about increasing security and it hasn't helped that there is building work being done at the moment that shelters part of the school from the road.

"We are contemplating putting in cameras in one or two strategic areas but I don't think we need them all over the school.

"We have had the odd break-in to the offices by people looking for money, but nothing like this. I do not believe that our students would destroy their fellow pupils' work."

Anyone with information should contact Pc Dave Clark at Stowmarket police station on 01473 613500 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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