Towering gates put up outside school to keep out the vandals and the thieves

TOWERING steel electronic security gates have been installed in front of a March primary school plagued by vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

Rachel Beeson, headteacher of All Saints Inter-Church Primary School, said: “It has been a nightmare. We used to dread coming back to work after a weekend to see what damage had been done. We have had a huge amount of vandalism over the years.

“We have lost about �12,000 worth of lead off the roof, there has been vandalism to the reception area, sheds scribbled on, benches smashed and toys broken. We have even been in governor’s meetings when they have been sitting on the roof.

“We were losing lots of money that could have been spent on other things rather than on repairing and renewing what had been vandalised. We also wanted to make sure the children were safe on site from traffic and from people getting on site unsupervised, I have had some very positive feedback from parents who are happy that their children will be safe.”

All visitors to the school have to report to reception using the inter-com on the eight feet high gates before they are opened. The school is the first in the town to install electronic gates.

Mrs Beeson said although police had been “brilliant” it had been imposssible to stop the continual vandalism and she and the governors had discussed the idea of security gates on many occasions. The school was delighted when money was found for the project by Cambridgeshire County Council.

Mrs Beeson says similar security gates have been installed in many city areas and she believes at least one other school in March is considering them.

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She said: “Everyone is becoming more safety conscious and sadly times are changing and we have to consider all these things.”

Pupils at the Cambridgeshire school have been made aware of the reasons for the installation of the gates and they told the Cambs Times: “The gates are too big for people just to get in,”

“The gates are smart and they look nice for our school.”

“They are for safety reasons and little children can’t get out and get lost.”

“Our school was getting ruined by people getting in and doing things we didn’t want them to do.”

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