TWO teenagers have been charged with arson after the blaze at a Chippenham school last year.

Ivy Lane Primary School was the victim of an arson attack last April when two teenagers set fire to nearby bushes that spread to a hall's roof. causing around £500,000 of damage.

The two boys, aged 14 and 15, were charged with arson with intent to endanger life on Monday and are set to appear at Swindon Youth Court on February 2. The youngsters cannot be named for legal reasons.

Ivy Hall, which sustained severe damage, was re-opened last Monday after months of work.

Helen Lammin, headteacher of Ivy Lane, paid tribute to her staff and pupils who "got on with it" during the eight months of difficulty.

She said: "It's a huge relief that we're back to a normal routine as a school. Our kitchen staff, who were most affected, are back to their normal schedule as well.

"It was tough not having the hall as we normally have school lunches in there and the kitchen is there too.

"All the children gasped and cheered when they saw it for the first time. It was great.

"We welcome the news that justice will be done and the boys will have their day in court. For us we've had eight months of uncertainty, where we knew the boys had been caught but knew nothing else.

"Obviously it cost a lot of money to fix, but I think the knock-on effect from such a thoughtless act was harder to deal with.

"There was also a holiday club in the hall at the time and we dread to think about what could have happened."

Ivy Hall housed the school kitchen, as well as being a space for PE lessons, drama productions, after school clubs and it was rented out in the evenings.

The school's 390 pupils were forced to use a smaller hall, and two mobile classrooms and toilets were brought in to provide extra space for them.