GOVERNORS have launched a £10,000 fundraising drive to beat the vandals who are making areas of a primary school no-go zones for their pupils.

Whitchurch Primary School youngsters have to be kept away from outside learning areas until staff have passed them safe for use following the discovery of drugs equipment and broken glass scattered around the premises.

Now governors have decided to upgrade security of the school after months of continued damage to school property.

They have started fundraising to install a CCTV unit costing £3,000 to help prevent getting into the premises outside school hours and intend to spend the rest on repairing damage already carried out by the culprits.

That includes a store shed where vandals kicked the doors in and which will take £4,000 to place.

Yobs also pulled up trees planted by children and have damaged the school’s ‘bandstand’ outside area in the playground.

Staff say vandalism was particularly bad during the Easter holidays and has continued since then, with cash supposed to be used for the benefit of the pupils being diverted to repairing damage and paying for the CCTV..

The fund has already been kick-started by Tavistock county councillor Debo Sellis, who has pledged £1,000 from her local budget.

Whitchurch head of school Kerry Bargewell said she appreciated the community was pulling together and offering their help to the school.

But she said: ‘I am obviously really disappointed that so much vandalism has taken place and the impact this constant vandalism has had on our children.

‘I am particularly upset about things like all the trees being pulled up and that there is continued vandalism with the bandstand this week.

‘The school had already planned how to spend its budget from April 22 to March 23 and we had not planned to purchase new sheds and CCTV so we are having to divert money that should be used on purchasing resources for the children to that.’

She said the school would position cameras around the outside of the school in the hope that it would the vandalism, with the rest of the £10,000 used to repair the the conservation area gate and its fence, benches, Foundation Stage area, bandstand and outdoor tables, which had also been damaged by the culprits. She said further incidents had seen the floor of the bandstand damaged and the side slats kicked out.

Nicky Alford, chair of the Whitchurch School Association, said they would be grateful of any financial support from the community. Ms Alford said the security measures being installed would go towards keeping children safe, even during school hours.

She said providing the CCTV and repairing the damage was ‘obviously a big expense for us along with replacing a shed, gates, the bandstand, plants, so that we would be very grateful for any financial support.’

Anyone who can offer the school financial help can contact staff by emailing [email protected]