Swim lessons cancelled as vandals target school pool

Rose Affleck (front left)and pupils from Paston Ridings primary school with  site officer Ian Jinks (back right) looking at their damaged pool. EMN-170628-163847009
Rose Affleck (front left)and pupils from Paston Ridings primary school with site officer Ian Jinks (back right) looking at their damaged pool. EMN-170628-163847009

Hundreds of children have been left without swimming lessons after vandals damaged a pool and life saving equipment at a city school.

The pool at Paston Ridings Primary School was hit by the yobs over the weekend, with brickwork also damaged.

Nicola Harradine, deputy headteacher, said more than 300 pupils will have had swimming lessons cancelled this week after the school was forced to close the pool.

She said: “Swimming in our own school pool has always been a massive part of life in the summer term here at Paston Ridings, we are one of the only Primary Schools lucky enough to still have a pool.

“The children love it with a passion and for many it is their ‘favourite thing’ about the summer term at school.

“Many pupils, both past and present, have learned to swim here - a life-saving skill, so it is really sad that local youngsters have chosen to break in to the pool and vandalise it.

“This has put it out of action and we are not sure for how long.”

The damage is thought to have been caused on Sunday night, when the pool cover was forced off the side of the pool, damaging the brick work and the cover itself. The gate to the pool had been forced open. The filteration system to the pool has been damaged, due to foreign objects and floats and life saving equipment had been thrown around and damaged.

Brigid Hughes, senior manager and swimming coordinator at the school added: “The most difficult thing has been to explain to the children why they cannot go swimming. They really do not understand why people would deliberately damage the pool, as one Y6 pupil said “Why would they want to do that? It’s just mean!”

Anyone with information should call police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.