SCHOOL and council bosses hit out at yobs and bad parenting skills after a suspected arson attack at a Newport school.

The blaze at Malpas Court Primary School on Saturday evening was labelled an act of "wanton vandalism".

Police and fire chiefs are still investigating the cause, but it is believed lighted material was deliberately dropped through a window, causing extensive smoke damage.

It is understood the nursery is the worst-hit area and will need complete re-decoration, the cost of which is not yet known.

And pupils are expected to experience some disruption when they return after the half-term break.

Graham Dally, chairman of the school governors, said: "We don't yet know what we are faced with but it's clear the affected areas will have to be re-painted.

"It is an act of wanton vandalism.

"It's down to parents educating their children as to what is right and wrong."

Fire crews from Malpas, Cwmbran and Maindee were called to the school just after 6pm and extinguished the blaze within an hour.

Malpas councillor Bill Langsford said: "We've had a lot of deliberate fires in this area recently, two or three at nearby Malpas Court House. Now it seems they have changed their target.

"At this point I really don't know what we can do to prevent it. We already have increased lighting and have CCTV in place.

"In my view, it's often the parenting skills that leave a lot to be desired." Inspector Mark Riley, of Gwent Police, said they were investigating the incident.

He said: "From initial investigations it appears that lighted items were dropped through windows into the school causing fairly extensive smoke damage."

l Anyone with information about the incident should call Gwent police on 01633 838111.