A HEAD teacher has spoken out after vandals caused thousands of pounds in damage to a Leigh school.

A laptop was stolen and 18 windows were smashed in the kitchen of Leigh CE Junior School on Henrietta Street at around 8pm on May 2.

Staff spent the weekend cleaning up the mess caused before the school reopened after the bank holiday but were dismayed when the culprits returned to the school on May 6 and broke a further four windows.

Head teacher Stephen Callaghan said: “Glass went everywhere. It was in all the cooking utensils – it was a hell of a mess. They forced open a basement door and into the main hall and swiped the laptop.

“They then gained entry to a store room and found a bottle of tomato ketchup which they smeared all over the walls and ceiling. It was just unwarranted vandalism.

“They then returned on Tuesday and smashed the four windows they hadn’t managed to break on Friday, so with that and the laptop we are looking at paying out about £2,000.”

The windows have been boarded up and will be replaced with smash-proof glass to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

“This is money that would otherwise have been spent on learning resources so the children will suffer as a consequence,” Mr Callaghan said.

“We have had an ongoing problem with reprobates congregating down the alleyway by the kitchen and have repeatedly asked the council to do something about it.

“They go down there because they can’t be seen and our site manager is always cleaning up their used needles.

“Residents asked the council to put a gate in so that people couldn’t get down there but we were told they didn’t have the budget for it.”

Terry Dunn, director of environment at Wigan Council, said: “We are aware of the recent incidents of vandalism which took place at the school and have been talking to the head teacher Mr Callaghan since it happened.

“We intend to work closely with Mr Callaghan and the other relevant parties to help in facilitating a solution which will assist in mitigating the risk of a similar incident happening in the future.”

Anyone with information about the attack should contact police by calling 101.