THOUSANDS of pounds’ worth of damage was caused to two Musselburgh schools at the weekend.

Vandals smashed more than 40 panes of glass at Musselburgh Burgh Primary School and Loretto RC Primary School, leaving a trail of destruction which has been condemned by local councillors.

Glass was showered into classrooms, facilities, playgrounds and staff spaces as the two schools were targeted over the September holiday weekend.

A total of 25 high level and roof windows were smashed at the Burgh on Kilwinning Place.

One, located directly above the school’s sand pit, was targeted on Friday afternoon, showering glass into the much-loved play area.

A further 24 were broken in the nursery, P1 and sports hall areas on Saturday afternoon using bricks and pieces of mortar which were found scattered in the building.

Headteacher Karen Fleming was called to the school at 1.30pm in response to the alarm system being activated.

The council’s repairs team boarded up the broken windows and removed the worst of the glass and debris.

Following an appeal on the school’s Facebook page, staff and parents rallied round on Monday to remove all the glass and make the areas safe for the children’s return on Tuesday.

Without this effort, the school would have had to relocate its youngest children causing further inconvenience and distress for them.

The sand pit, designed by the pupils, was the result of hard work and effort from the whole school community.

The sand pit and the neighbouring flower beds that the children tended to will have to be completely removed as they have been contaminated by glass.

The school’s parent council has vowed to reinstate the sand pit.

Meanwhile, 21 panes were broken in the sash and case windows along the back of Loretto RC Primary School on Newbigging, affecting a dozen windows.

This affected the nursery, P2 classroom, school office and resource room, staff room and staff toilets.

Headteacher Margaret-Anne McBean, nursery staff, support staff, teachers and janitor Colin Bonnar cleared the areas of glass to make them safe for pupils to use.

The cost of fully repairing the damage to the schools is expected to run to thousands of pounds.

Work will be carried out within the coming weeks, with the priority to keep the buildings secure and maintain safe access for the children and staff throughout.

Both schools praised the quick response from the council and its repairs service.

CCTV footage is being reviewed and anyone with information is encouraged to contact police, who are continuing enquiries into the incidents.

A council spokesperson said: “We are all shocked and saddened by the damage caused at the schools over the holiday weekend.

“Our repairs service responded quickly when the incidents occurred to protect the property and remove the worst of the glass.

“The priority now is to reinstate the glazing with minimal disruption to the school communities.

“We are reviewing CCTV footage and co-operating fully with police to identify the culprits.

“We’d encourage anyone with information on these mindless acts to contact Police Scotland on 101.”

Burgh headteacher Mrs Fleming said: “I’m so grateful for the response from the council’s repairs team and especially our staff and parents who came in on the holiday weekend to make the areas safe for our children.

“The coastal garden only opened in the summer term and was already much loved by the children who had helped to design it, working with a local artist. It’s soul destroying that it has been ruined in this overt vandalism and a huge disappointment for our children.”

Her Loretto counterpart Ms McBean added: “We’re really disappointed that the school has been targeted by vandals. The damage will take some weeks to repair, causing inconvenience to our children.

“Our P2 class was especially upset to learn what had happened over the holiday weekend. Our P7 pupils have been super reassuring and caring for the little ones.”

Ward councillor John Williamson said: “These mindless acts of vandalism are to be condemned.”

Councillor Katie Mackie added: “Damaging a primary school which is used by young children is sickening and it’s time to put a stop to it.”

While Councillor Andy Forrest said: “I think it is atrocious that this amount of damage is done to our schools.”