28 Dec 2016
The bill for taxpayers repairing vandalism in Scotland’s schools has exceed £4.5 million for the last five years, new figures have shown.
A Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Conservatives has revealed deliberate damage to schools cost £859,011 last year, the highest in three years.
And the total is likely to be even higher, with some local authorities – including Scotland’s capital city – unable to put a figure on the cost of vandalism.
The total for 2015/16 was an increase of more than £100,000 from the previous year.
Schools in Fife were the most likely to be targeted, with damage there costing £192,000 last year, followed by Aberdeen (£155,000) and North Ayrshire (£60,000).
The FoI response shows damage was caused either by pupils or others outwith school hours.
Incidents included broken windows, damage to toilets and graffiti.
Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary Liz Smith said:
“It’s very worrying that vandals continue to regard schools as fair game.
“Our councils are hard-pressed enough without having to fork out for needless repairs like this.
“People ought to remember that these are supposed to be safe environments for children to learn and teachers to operate.
“That cannot be the case when they arrive in the morning to find damage to their space.
“Anyone caught vandalising schools should be dealt with firmly to ensure similar behaviour is not repeated in future.”