A SCHOOL for children with special needs has been forced to close by vandals.

It was too dangerous to allow the children into Woodside Special School, in Halt Robin Road, Belvedere, on Monday because the vandals had crashed the school minibus into a building, fracturing a gas main.

The £28,000 bus, bought last year through fund-raising, was written off.

Inside the school, doors and windows were smashed, rooms trashed, televisions, video recorders and a video camera were stolen.

An attempt was also made to break open the safe.

The destruction, which was done sometime between 9.30am on Sunday and 7.30am on Monday, is the latest in a series of criminal damage incidents at the school.

Its environmental work, which won a recent award, has been destroyed, all its pots smashed and the tools thrown into the pond.

Headteacher Linda Crooks said all the events planned for the last three days of term had been cancelled.

These included a visit by the first Gladiators TV show winner Weiniger Irwin, who was due at the school today (Wednesday) to present prizes for the pupil's outstanding performance in the London (Heathrow) Youth Games.

Leaving parties for several staff and pupils have been cancelled as well as sports day, the school play and planned trips.

Staff, including Mrs Crooks, were at the school on Monday clearing up the debris.

She said the continuing vandalism at the school was “very disheartening and is costing us a fortune”.

Paula Gough, a parent governor at the school, said: “I know how much hard work has gone into raising the money to buy these things.”

Bexley Council says the school has had some cash for security measures but part of the site adjoins Franks Park, which makes it vulnerable.

A spokesman said the council would be discussing with the school over the summer what needs to be done to improve security.

If you saw or heard anything on Sunday, call Police Sergeant Peter Cudd at the Crimedesk on 020 8284 9142.