Headteacher hits out at 'mindless' vandals after Hastings Hill Academy trashed

The headteacher of Hastings Hill Academy, Natalie Fountain, has hit out after vandals have destroyed projects that the pupils have been working on.

Thursday, 4th June 2020, 12:40 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th June 2020, 2:08 pm

Natalie Fountain, headteacher at Hastings Hill Academy, has spoke of her anger of what she describes as “mindless vandalism” following a series of attacks on the school.

When she arrived at the school this morning (Thursday, June 4), she saw that yobs have smashed windows, ripped up plants, smeared mud across school property and even damaged wishing wells that the children have made.

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Hastings Hill Academy headteacher Natalie Foundation at the smashed window caused by vandals.

She told the Echo that it is the latest in a running series of incidents and now “enough is enough”.

Mrs Fountain said: “Last year, especially over the summer months, groups of youths would climb onto the roof to pull off drain pipes and smash skylights.

“Now, we have been seeing a rise of similar incidents in the past few weeks.

“This morning I arrived at the school to find some windows smashed, plants ripped out and wishing wells that the children had made as projects smashed.

Vandals smeared mud across the building are destroying the garden at the school.

“It was so disheartening to see the children and their parents arrive at the school this morning to all the damage.”

She added: “Enough is enough and people need to start taking responsibility for whereabouts of their children and and their actions.

“It is costing the school a fortune, we already have a tight budget as it is and now the costs are continuing to amount.

Areas in which children play in have been destroyed in the attack.

“We have already spent around £7,000 that we can’t claim back, that money could be better used on extra things for the pupils such as sports coaches or educational visits.

“We are now having to pay for an external security company to monitor the site on a night.”

She added: “Our caretaker Beverly has been at the school for many years and she helps the pupils with their DT projects like the wishing wells which were destroyed.

Northumbria Police have confirmed they are investigating the incident during which several of the school windows were smashed.

“Everyone is so grateful for her hard work and she has been so upset by all of this.

“The rest of the staff are worried about leaving their cars in the car park, it is already worrying times without any extra pressure.

Northumbria Police have confirmed they are investigating the incident.

A spokesman for the force said: “Earlier today (Thursday), we received a report of criminal damage overnight at Hastings Hill Academy, on Tilbury Road, Sunderland.

“It was reported that offenders had gained access to the premises and damaged a number of items.

“An investigation has been launched and anyone with information is asked to contact us via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of our website quoting log 116 040620.”

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