“PETTY, mindless vandalism” has been slammed by a special school in Thornbury, after plants grown by students were destroyed.

Staff at New Siblands School has said that there has been “a definite increase” of incidents in recent months, with the most recent incident, which took place sometime around October 26, resulting in raised flower beds at the back of the site being ripped out, and plants potted by students being pulled out, thrown around and smashed.

Teacher Craig Tucker said: “The students take a great amount of pride and achievement from the amount of work they have had to undertake to develop the site, grow the plants and look after it all. That has been destroyed for them.

“Most don’t come from Thornbury, they come from all over and it is important they feel like they belong, both in the school and the wider community.

“When these acts of petty, mindless vandalism happen, it really undermines all of the work we do as students don’t feel like they belong because their work is being targeted.”

Past incidents have seen youths getting onto the roof of the school’s building on Easton Hill Road, and cigarette butts and shards of glass being left lying around.

Also over half term, another special school in Thornbury, the Sheiling School, was also attacked, with arsonists torching an outdoor shelter built by students.

Earlier this week, First Step Preschool, based at Crossways Infants School was targeted, with an access ramp being damaged.

“We would like whoever is doing this to be mindful of who we are and what we do,” said Mr Tucker.

“We already doing a huge amount with our funds that are continually being cut so now we have to find extra money to fix that damage. If we have to pay to have the raised beds redone, it sadly won’t happen.

“But while there is a monetary cost, for us that is not the biggest priority. Taking our students over there to see how their hard work has been undone is the worst thing for us.

“It might be just potting a plant to some person, but to some of our students that is a big deal.

“Our students already have so many barriers to learning and to life through the nature of their various conditions to have people form the community put up that extra barrier.”

Anyone with information that could assist police in investigating the vandalism are asked to call 101, using reference number 5217244920.