Arson attack at East Bergholt Primary School was ‘difficult to deal with’ - headteacher

East Bergholt Primary School headteacher, Gill Mitchell.

East Bergholt Primary School headteacher, Gill Mitchell. - Credit: Archant

A headteacher has said a suspected arson attack on her primary school will have a “detrimental” effect on children’s education.

An outdoor learning environment at East Bergholt Primary School was demolished by fire.

An outdoor learning environment at East Bergholt Primary School was demolished by fire. - Credit: Su Anderson

The outdoor learning classroom at East Bergholt Primary School, which was built with Lottery funding, was destroyed in a blaze on Friday night.

The school’s headteacher, Gill Mitchell said: “It was a real shock when I found out on Saturday morning.

“It’s a lovely village school and you wouldn’t expect that sort out thing to happen at all. It was a very difficult thing to have to deal with.”

She said the classroom was used by all 180 children at the school, as well as members of the community, for nature studies.

An outdoor learning environment at East Bergholt Primary School was demolished by fire.

An outdoor learning environment at East Bergholt Primary School was demolished by fire. - Credit: Su Anderson


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The Lottery grant also funded a garden fitted with a fountain and a log seating area, which together was named the Bergholt Friendly Garden.

Part of the garden has been fenced off because of the debris from the fire, which Ms Mitchell said had left the children bereft of a learning area.

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She added: “It will be detrimental to their education by not having that facility.”

Fire fighters from Ipswich were called to the blaze in School Lane at 9.51pm on Friday to find the outbuilding “well alight”.

Crews requested help from Suffolk police as they believed the fire to be suspicious.

A police spokesman said the blaze was being treated as an arson and urged witnesses to get in touch.

The blaze was extinguished by 10.32pm.

To help, call police on 101 using reference HD/15/382.

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