More than £200,000 worth of damage has been caused by vandals in local schools in the last four years.

Since 2016, East Renfrewshire Council has recorded 540 attacks on school properties by hooligans.

According to the shock figures, released under Freedom of Information, three schools in Barrhead were among the hardest hit.

Arthurlie Nursery staff were forced to board up windows following a broken window attack in January last year.

The estimated repair cost was just over £7,000, with metal mesh shutters fitted for additional protection.

The incident report, obtained by the Barrhead News, also revealed that a skip used to dump materials couldn’t be left overnight in case it was set off fire.

Arthurlie Nursery suffered two vandal attacks last year and nine since 2016.

Hillview Primary in nearby Springhill Road also suffered two attacks last year and 15 in total.

And St Luke’s High School was targeted ten times in 2020 and 35 times overall.

One incident at St Luke’s in January resulted in a repair of cost £467 following an overnight break in.

The school was forced to put in new security bolts and replace broken glass.

Barrhead High School recorded no vandal attacks last year, but there was a total of 25 for 2016 and 2017.

Improved security is believed to have brought about the reduction in incidents.

Eastwood High School in neighbouring Newton Mearns was targeted 12 times in 2020 and 64 times overall.

It is currently the worst affected school in the whole of East Renfrewshire for vandalism.

In one case, missing thermostat covers cost an estimated £1,112.69 to repair.

In another instance, in Eastwood’s Games Hall, 80 ceiling tiles had to be repaired in four changing rooms after mindless vandalism.

Overall, £212,980 has been paid out in the last six years to replace and repair fittings caused by malicious damage in East Renfrewshire’s seven secondaries and 24 primary schools.

Of that total, the taxpayer had to pay a total of £32,759.79 last year, following 93 vandalism incidents.

The previous year, £51,242.33 worth of damage was caused, with £46,659 in 2018, £57,045.37 in 2017 and £25,274.15 in 2016.

Few schools were exempt from the vandal attacks, including Isobel Mair in Newton Mearns, which helps children with special needs.

There, £140 of repair work was needed after roller shutters were damaged in March last year.

Barrhead councillor Paul Aitken said: “I am sad and frustrated to hear that Barrhead schools and nurseries are among the worst affected by mindless vandalism.

“I would call upon East Renfrewshire Council to provide bright floodlights within the grounds of all Barrhead schools and nurseries to deter further vandalism over the coming winter months.”

An East Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said: “It is disappointing when any act of vandalism occurs and it can be extremely costly to repair the damage caused.

“Many incidents occur outwith school hours and we work closely with police colleagues, our community wardens and the CCTV control room to tackle any areas of concern.

“When incidents do take place during the school day then appropriate action is taken to address the issue directly with pupils.”