A HEADTEACHER has been left “distraught” after reckless vandals caused thousands of pounds of damage to a primary school’s outdoor learning area.

Pieter Labuschagne joined Unity Primary Academy, in Greenstead, at the start of the academic year and has been key in driving positive change at the school.

Since his arrival, investment has been made to significantly improve early years and reception classes and make the academy as inviting as possible for families.

However, on Saturday night Mr Labuschagne received a call telling him police were on site dealing with an incident of serious vandalism.


It left the outdoor learning facilities “broken” and “shattered” as nails hung out of a ripped apart shed and Perspex glass was left dangerously snapped.

The headteacher estimates the damage could cost up to £9,000 to replace.

He said: “I was absolutely gutted when I got the phone call. My team and I felt completely distraught; in the past two or three weeks a lot of work has gone into this and its provision.

“We are working very hard to change the perception of Unity and I’ve been left very disappointed to see what has happened.


“Some of the children were disappointed and a significant number of parents have said how saddened they are; they’re keen to set up a fundraiser.

“The school will work alongside law enforcement agencies to bring the culprits to account. When you do something like this you are taking children’s chances away.”

Mr Labuschagne has said the incident will not deter him or his staff, however, adding the community “really deserves” positive work.

“We’re going to do a lot of good things here. This is an isolated incident that has nothing to do with the school.


“We’ve acquired the resources and were starting to make a lot of improvements to build a positive environment for our pupils to enjoy.

“We’ve had to explain to them what’s happened any why they can’t learn outside today, but what I will say is there are many great things to come from this school.

“Unity is going to be a positive place that our pupils and families can be proud of.”