TWO boys aged ten and 11 years old have been charged with arson relating to the fire at Pinewood Infants School, Farnborough, which caused £2million worth of damage.

Eighty per cent of the school was destroyed in the blaze on March 27, leaving only two classrooms untouched.

Police believe someone set fire to bins next to the school and the flames quickly spread out of control to engulf the entire building.

At the height of the blaze, 11 fire engines and 65 firefighters were battling against the flames, with one crew member sustaining a sprained ankle during the incident.

Pinewood had been a constant target for vandals in the months leading up to the attack, with youths regularly hanging around the school after hours, causing parents and residents to lodge complaints with Hampshire County Council.

Jo Jackson, a playgroup assistant for Pinewood pre-school group who have used the school's facilities for more than 20 years, said their building had regularly suffered damage.

"We had the police out on the Friday before the fire," she said. "Our play equipment had been vandalised again, and the roof of our shed has been jumped on many times.

"Yet I don't think anyone could have anticipated that things would become so severe.

"It is very much a community centre and everyone has been affected by it."

Pupils and teachers were distraught as the fire destroyed their work and vital paperwork, leaving them to start from scratch.

The school was closed for four weeks over the Easter break as council workers toiled to restore and resurface the playground and installed five temporary buildings on the site, to be used for teaching, a school hall and front office.

Accommodation has been provided for the playgroup, language impairment unit and community group, who all used facilities at the school which is set right in the heart of the Pinewood estate.

Chairman of the governors at Pinewood, Mildred Stocks said: "The governing body is most grateful to the out-standing contribution made by the county council and its many contractors who have produced a school from the ashes in four weeks."

Amid rumours that the school might close, county councillor for education Don Allen assured parents that all children who started at Pinewood in September 2003 would complete their three years there.

The two boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will appear at Basingstoke Youth Court on Wednesday June 25.