School’s break-in misery

Lowton St Mary's School
Lowton St Mary's School

A school community has been left “devastated” after thieves walked off with thousands of pounds worth of computer equipment.

Staff and pupils at Lowton St Mary’s CE Primary had been looking forward to making use of a mobile information technology suite, which had been purchased by their parent teachers association.

But a break-in last Friday night, burglars smashed their way in through a rear window, and stole 30 tablets and a rack.

School business manager Suzie McMullen said: “This has been devastating for us because these iPads had been bought for us by the PTA.

“They cost a lot of money and they hadn’t been on site for more than a day when the burglary took place.”

Police have launched an investigation and an insurance claim has been lodged, which could lead to higher premiums for the Newton Road school.

“We have such a good relationship with our PTA and a really supportive chairman so it’s been heartbreaking,” added Ms McMullen.

Eventually it was hoped that everyone in school would have access to an iPad, she said, but the mobile facility could be moved around.

Unlike a number of other borough schools, Lowton St Mary’s did not qualify for financial aid, so had to cover the costs of the tablets using their own resources.

Plans have already been put into action by the association for a fundraising appeal, via a Go Fund Me page online, to help pay for some of the damage caused during the burglary.

The intruders smashed the Key Stage 2 library door and the PTA has already exceeded their £200 target for repairs.

Villagers have condemned the thieves online, with Kathryn O’Neill saying: “I’m so devastated to hear this.

“So angry for the parents who work so hard for the PTA to raise that money.”

John Anderson added: “Scumbags strike again - hope they catch them.

“Pupils rely on things like these iPads to help them with their education, especially those with dyspraxia.”

An investigation has been launched by police in Lowton and anyone who witnessed anything can ring the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.