Scarce council resources are being ploughed into north-east schools to repair the wanton damage caused by vandals.
Councillors have bemoaned attacks on schools “all over Aberdeenshire”, with many thousands of pounds being spent on replacement windows and equipment.
Figures released in January revealed 58 incidents at schools in the past two years, with the damage amounting to £26,330.
The latest bill reported is one of almost £3,500 to fix windows at Fraserburgh Academy, which was attacked by vandals on December 29.
Police inquiries are still ongoing and no-one has yet been charged with the damage – which had initially been estimated at a five-figure sum.
A Freedom of Information Request to Aberdeenshire Council has now revealed the final bill for repair work was the lesser sum £3,467.84.
Dismayed councillors have, however, pointed out that is equivalent to the annual council tax paid by three families.
The costs included the boarding up of the rector’s office window, boarding-up and then replacement of six broken windows in the admin offices and repairs to music room and technical room windows.
Local councillor Andy Kille, who is also chairman of the Banff and Buchan Area Committee, said: “The wanton damage to Fraserburgh Academy was very disappointing.
“I urge anyone with information to pass it to the police.
“Whilst the repair bill is not as large as first feared £3,500 or thereabouts is still a substantial sum.
“To put it into context, three families will pay council tax this year just to fund these repairs.”
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The largest part of the repair bill was spent on replacing the six glazed units in the school’s admin offices, costing £1,600.43.
Boarding up the windows to ensure the area was safe before new glazed units could be fitted cost £207.32.
Charles Buchan, one of the Fraserburgh and District councillors, said: “It’s good that the cost is going to be only a third of the original estimate but it’s bad that this happened at all.
“Schools are being attacked all over Aberdeenshire and scarce money is being used to repair mindless damage – this at a time when the council is removing 17 secondary teaching posts and cutting back on pupil support assistant posts due to cuts.
“These vandals are reducing opportunities for their school age friends as well as themselves.”
Councillor Brian Topping added: “I am saddened this has taken place at Fraserburgh academy.
“It’s shocking and I hope that the culprits who were responsible for this vandalism, running to well over £3,000, are caught, brought to justice, and forced to pay for the damage caused.
“This, apart from the inconvenience caused and the tax payer possibly ending up paying, also means there is less money for the school to spend on education on pupils.”
A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council added: “The vandalism is very disappointing and we would encourage anyone with information to contact Police Scotland.”
Anyone with information can call 101.