VANDALS targeted a village school over the weekend, causing over £250 worth of damage.
The yobs entered the grounds of Darley Dale Primary School and threw hanging baskets about, broke picnic benches, emptied litter bins and then threw them over a wall.
However, headteacher Peter Hughes said that the damage could have been worse had a neighbour not heard the commotion and shouted at the youths, who then ran off.
Mr Hughes said: “I understand a resident heard it all and saw it so shouted at them to try and stop it.
“It sounded like the police arrived quite quickly, otherwise there would have been more damage.
“We are disappointed and the children were really upset.
“We had to cordon an area off and it looked like a crime scene.
“The school gates are clearly locked and there is fencing all the way round so they know they were in an area they should not be in.
“I don’t know who the public-spirited resident is who tried to stop them but I thank them because they clearly stopped more damage being done.”
Anyone with information is being urged to call police on the non-emergency number, 101, or Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.