Villagers taking stand against blight of vandals

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CONCERNED Holbeach St Marks residents are rallying around to prevent an episode of vandalism escalating to the level that forced the village school to close in September.

A window at Holbeach St Marks Primary School was broken and three cars had their tyres slashed on Sunday night in a repeat of the vandalism that plagued the village over eight weeks last year.

However, South Holland District Council deputy leader Nick Worth - who says he is frustrated by the recurrence of vandalism in the village - says a couple of former policemen living in Holbeach St Marks have re-started the patrols they were carrying out at the height of the destruction.

And head teacher at Holbeach St Marks Primary School Karyn Wiles has said the parents of children at the school are being incredibly protective, as they were when the school was last targeted.

“To be honest, in terms of the parents, it has brought the community closer together because our parents are our biggest advocates,” said Miss Wiles. “We had some parents camping in the school overnight (in the autumn) because they are so adamant that they don’t want anything happening to the school.The whole village has really pulled together.”

Miss Wiles believes the extraordinary level of parental support stems from the fact that the small school - it has 36 on roll - offers children a privileged learning experience, with average class sizes of 12.

The school is federated with Gedney Drove End Primary School, which also has 36 pupils on roll. Holbeach St Marks will be losing five children in September and gaining three, while Gedney Drove End will be losing six and gaining seven. The schools are running open evenings to encourage parents to think about sending their children to school there.

Miss Wiles said: “What we do here is so fantastic we want to open it up to as many people as possible and we are looking at villages that don’t have a primary school. Both schools have received good Ofsted reports.”

The latest incident was reported to Lincolnshire Police, who are investigating. The school installed CCTV cameras in the autumn and these are being studied for evidence.

• Open evenings are being held at Holbeach Hurn Village Hall on Tuesday (15), Fosdyke Village Hall on Tuesday, March 22, and Moulton Seas End Village Hall (the Old Post Office Room) on Monday, March 28, all at 6.30pm.