A school which caters for children with complex needs was subjected to a a ‘barrage’ of vandalism over the summer holidays which will cost thousands of pounds to fix.

A glass canopy was smashed at Mountjoy School, Beaminster, and will cost about £4,500 to replace. The act of vandalism came after a window was smashed by a stone.

Throughout the summer holidays, intrusions on to school grounds left a door covered in PVA glue.

The entire school is now fenced off in an attempt to discourage further trespassing.

Deputy headteacher Tracey Page said: “The cost of repairs and the effect on staff morale are the main issues were experiencing because of these repeated attacks on the school.

“Whilst some of the damage appears to be more of a nuisance because it had to be cleaned up, the impact on the school and its pupils is far greater.

“The new school year has started, however our pupils are unable to exit the rear of the building to play on the back field because the repairs to the canopy are not yet complete.”

Mountjoy caters for children with a range of complex needs, including autism and moderate to severe learning difficulties.

In April this year, scooter tyre tracks were found during an inspection of the roof of the school.

Though nobody was found on the roof, Dorset Police spoke to local children and warned them the roof was not a safe area to play, reminding them of the dangers of climbing on them.

Headteacher Jackie Shanks said: “It’s difficult to understand why a special school, such as ours, has become a target. My grateful thanks go to the police who have been supportive throughout and who remain vigilant on our behalf in order to deter any further incidences.”

Dorset Police has confirmed officers attended the school on three occasions over the summer holidays; on July 23, it was discovered criminal damage had been caused to the school building when a window was smashed some time over the weekend.

The following day, there was a further report a glass porch window had been smashed. It is believed to have occurred overnight. A third incident of criminal damage was reported on August 22. It was reported paint had been splattered on the building overnight.

A spokesman for the force said: “No arrests have been made in connection with these incidents. Officers have been made aware and have been increasing patrols in the area.