A WEST Lavington primary school has received a grant of over £7,000 for a state-of-the-art CCTV system after its grounds were attacked by vandals during lockdown. 

The new camera system, which Dauntsey Academy Primary School hopes to install in the coming weeks, was paid for by a joint grant of £7,156 from West Lavington Parish Council and Wiltshire Council. 

The police have been called to the school multiple times over lockdown after sheds and stores were broken into and their contents thrown across the grounds and destroyed. This took the school's caretaker two hours each time to clear and make safe for pupils. 

At the Devizes Area Board on Monday, November 16, councillors heard the school’s plea and unanimously voted to award grant.

School headteacher, Philippa Winbolt said the school was incredibly grateful for the grant and that it was heartbreaking to see the damage week on week. 

“We see it as a whole community thing,” she said. “I think that’s been recognised by Wiltshire Council and the area board in awarding us this grant. 

“This means it will continue to be a safe place for all of our children to come to school. What’s been lovely for us, as a school, is having members of the parish council and my governors working so hard for the good of the school and the community.”

Dominic Muns, a parish councillor in West Lavington who helped with the bid said: “Wiltshire Council and the parish council are providing 50 per cent of the grant each. 

“The crux of the application is that it’s a community project and not something that just benefits the school.

“The school has had issues of vandalism but its an extension of on-going antisocial behaviour on the recreation ground, which is just the other side of the fence.
“As a community, I firmly believe we must stand together to drive out antisocial behaviour.”

Mr Muns added that it’s very difficult to secure the grounds outside of school hours and during the holidays.

The state-of-the-art system will also cover more of the recreation ground along with cameras on the village hall.  

Across the school fence, play equipment, the BMX track and football goals have also been subject to ‘mindless vandalism’ over the last year, where the parish council is left to clear the aftermath.