VANDALS caused more than £20,000 worth of damage at a school by attempting to steal lead from the roof.
The three struck over the weekend at The St Leonards Academy, Darwell Close. formerly The Grove.
The trio damaged flagstones and a lot of roof tiles were also broken.
Lead flashing from the roof of several school buildings was discovered missing but was later found within the school grounds.
Tools were also stolen from a hut, and were later recovered by police.
Jenny Jones, principal designate of The St Leonards Academy, said: “The culprits were on the roof all night and caused extensive damage which will cost between £20,000 and £30,000 to put right.
“We did not have any water leaking in and major renovation work has been taking place over the summer in readiness for the 240 year seven students who will start in September.
“It is unfortunate but we are ready for the new intake and nothing will be affected.”
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “Police discovered damage had been caused to the roof of various school buildings in an attempt to steal lead flashing and three local youths were located in the grounds by police dog handlers.”
Three men, one aged 19 and the two others, both aged 20, were arrested on Monday.
They have been released on police bail until September 12 with a night-time curfew condition.
The St Leonards Academy opens its doors to its first intake of students on September 6.