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“Shameful record” As £4 million Spent on Scottish School Vandalism Repairs

More than £4 million spent on repairing vandalism of Scottish schools, according to new figures.

New figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives have revealed that over £4 million has been spent on repairing vandalism in Scotland’s schools over the past five years, with more than £1.16 million spent in the last academic year alone.

The data was obtained through Freedom of Information requests from 22 out of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, indicating that the actual cost to taxpayers could be even higher.

The Scottish Conservatives have criticised these figures, calling them “staggering” and citing them as evidence of the Scottish National Party‘s (SNP) indifference to the state of the country’s schools.

Scottish Conservative Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Kerr MSP said, “It’s disgraceful that already scarce resources are having to be spent on repairing damage to schools caused by mindless vandals. These louts should be ashamed of themselves – but the need for such expensive repairs poses the question as to why the SNP government have not ensured our schools are properly safeguarded and protected in the first place.”

CCTV as a vandalism deterrent

Kerr further emphasised the need for effective CCTV systems in schools as a deterrent and means of identifying and punishing offenders.

He called on the newly-appointed SNP Education Secretary, Jenny Gilruth to address the issue and ensure that schools in Scotland are properly protected. He also stressed that vandals must know that the law will deal with their destructive and anti-social behaviour.

In addition, Kerr linked the problem of vandalism to the broader decline in education under the SNP’s leadership, citing issues such as Scotland’s declining performance in international league tables, broken promises to eradicate the attainment gap, and increasing violence towards teachers.

Of the councils which did respond to the Freedom of Information request from the Scottish Conservatives, Fife had the highest vandalism repair bill from 2018/19 to 2022/23 at £875,704.

North Lanarkshire (£688,2560), Dundee (£602,418) and Falkirk (£573,000), while some councils such as Argyll and Bute and Inverclyde responded to say they have spent only a few thousand pounds.

Vandalism is Schools
Vandals caused substantial damage at St Elizabeth’s Primary School in Hamilton, Scotland (Image: Lanarkshire Live)

Scottish schools record “shameful”

“The Nationalists’ record is shameful,” Kerr added.

The figures highlight the significant financial burden placed on Scotland’s education system due to vandalism, and raise concerns about the need for increased security measures in schools to prevent such incidents and protect valuable resources.

The issue of school vandalism continues to be a pressing concern for educators, policymakers, and communities across Scotland.

A spokesman for Ms Gilruth said: “The Education Secretary is deeply concerned that the Conservative spokesperson for education has described Scottish school pupils as ‘louts’.

“We certainly do not need CCTV in our schools watching our children, as the Conservatives appear to be implying.”

He added: “The Education Secretary wants to work with Scotland’s children and young people – she will leave the ridiculous name calling to the Conservatives, whose behaviour in this press release alone evidences why they should be nowhere near making decisions on Scottish education.”

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