‘Vandals’ set fire to bus outside school

The burnt-out classroom bus at Murrayburn Primary. Picture: Julie Bull
The burnt-out classroom bus at Murrayburn Primary. Picture: Julie Bull
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Children have been left devastated after a bus they were using as an outdoor classroom was gutted in a suspicious fire.

The single decker in the grounds of Murrayburn ­Primary, Sighthill, was reduced to a “shell” after the early morning blaze.

Vandals are suspected of torching the bus, which had been used by children to grow flowers and vegetables.

Daffodils that Primary Three pupils had planned to exhibit at an event at the Botanic Gardens this weekend were destroyed in the fire. And the incident came just a week after two bus windows were smashed in an overnight attack.

A special assembly was held at the school yesterday morning to reassure the children.

Headteacher Catherine Lynch said the bus had been a valuable outdoor classroom for pupils, who previously had only a concrete playground.

The fire at Murrayburn Primary's bus. Picture: Comp

The fire at Murrayburn Primary's bus. Picture: Comp

The vehicle was donated to the school by Lothian Buses after a campaign by the parent council, and had been used to grow vegetables and plants.

She said: “Each year group has got a little job to do. The Primary Three class were due to take part in a competition at the Botanics. The good news is that nobody was hurt. It’s ever so sad.”

Mrs Lynch said she wanted to thank Lothian Buses, Sighthill community council and parents for their support.

Parent Nicola Miller, from Sighthill, said her daughter Kenzie, seven, had been distraught by the news.

THe bus was burnt out. Picture: Comp

THe bus was burnt out. Picture: Comp

She said: “It’s shocking. The kids are devastated, it’s just a shell. They were due to go down to the Botanics on Saturday for the exhibition. We have had tears this morning. The parents, they just couldn’t believe it. It’s devastating for the kids and for the school.”

Ms Miller, 30, added: “I have never seen my daughter so upset. I know it’s just flowers but they have been doing a lot of work with it. It’s heartbreaking that it’s just been wiped away from them.”

Lothian Buses staff visited the school yesterday and agreed to tow the bus away and help repair the decking, once police give them the all-clear.

A spokesman for Transport for Edinburgh said: “It’s very disappointing to hear the news. It has been good to work with Murrayburn Primary in recent times, we have a great relationship with the school.”

Nicola Orr, chairwoman of the parent council, said: “We are so grateful to Lothian Buses for the time and effort and money they have spent on us. The kids have nowhere to learn outside now. We’ve had quite a lot of kids upset and crying, and it’s just devastating.”

The Botanics team have invited the Murrayburn pupils to bring in their photos and posters to the Eco Schools

daffodil competition this weekend. A police spokesman confirmed officers were treating the blaze, which broke out just after midnightyesterday, as suspicious.