HEARTLESS vandals have destroyed a play area in a school in Glasgow’s East End ahead of pupils starting the new term.

Shocked teachers returned to St Rose of Lima Primary School in Mossvale Road, Craigend on Monday to discover the sensory garden had been vandalised.

A toy box was set on fire while the sick vandals urinated on items around the outdoor area of the school.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service tackled the blaze on Friday and Police Scotland is now investigating.

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Primary five class teacher Emma Laing explained that the sensory garden was built to help some of the school’s most vulnerable pupils.

St Rose of Lima Primary School has a roll of around 500 pupils, and the sensory garden provided a safe haven to some of them.

Mrs Laing said: “It is heartbreaking because it means the children might not be able to use the sensory garden when they come back to school today because there is still fire damage.”

She added: “The sensory garden area provided a kind of safe haven for the children who really struggle to access the main playground.

“We built the sensory garden last year with the support of McLaughlin and Harvey, and we have been trying to add further improvements to the playground.

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“A lot of time and effort has been put in by the school, staff and parents as well as other agencies who have helped us out.”

The school has been targeted by vandals on previous occasions and Mrs Laing has appealed to the local community to prevent further incidents happening.

She said: “We need the community to be on board, they need to be aware that this is going on.

“This is effecting their children and we are trying to do everything we can to enhance the school and make the school better for kids.

“But there are people coming in and destroying it.”

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Councillor Chris Cunningham, City Convener for Education, Skills and Early Years, said: “This is despicable and these mindless vandals should be ashamed of themselves.

“Parents and school staff have invested a lot of time and money into the sensory garden for the children to enjoy and this wanton act has destroyed the school’s efforts.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman confirmed that they are investigating the incident.

The spokeswoman added: “Police are investigating an incident of vandalism at a primary school in Mossvale Road, Glasgow, and enquiries are continuing.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service could not be reached for comment.