The headteacher of special school in Northampton has said thieves who stole 22 iPads from the school have deprived the disabled pupils of a vital way communicating and learning.
Corallie Murray, principal of Fairfields Special School in Trinity Avenue, said parents, pupils and staff will all devastated by the burglary on Friday night.
She said: “The iPads are one of the primary forms of education for the children to communicate.
“Having them makes a big difference to some of the children and helps them to learn.
“The thieves who have stolen these iPads are the lowest of the low to steal from our children. A lot of our pupils don’t understand why the iPads aren’t available anymore ”
Ms Murray said the iPad thefts had come at a bad time as Ofsted is due to inspect the school soon. The headteacher said all the iPads had the school’s name etched on to the back of them.
Thieves stole the iPads from Fairfields sometime between 8.30pm and 9.20pm.
Officers believe this incident may be linked to a burglary which happened earlier in the evening, between 7.55pm and 9pm, at Woodvale Primary Academy, in Crestwood Road, Goldings, where a laptop was stolen.
Since the start of the latest school year, eight primary schools have been broken into and electrical equipment has been stolen.
In previous months, Preston Hedges, Hackleton, Kingsthorpe Grove, Bridgewater, Parklands and Walgrave Primary Schools have all been broken into and had iPads stolen.
Officers are asking the public to be aware of offers of cut-price computer equipment. Anyone offered an iPad for sale from anywhere other than a recognised dealer is asked to contact the police.
Crime Prevention Officer Mick Simpson said: “I would advise schools to make sure their alarm system is functioning correctly and ideally store computer equipment together in a securely locked room without windows.
“Many products, particularly iPads, now come with an integral tracking device which can help in the recovery of the item if it’s stolen, so do make sure this is activated on all items.
“Also, if you’re offered an iPad or other computer equipment for sale from anywhere other than a recognised dealer, please be aware it could be stolen and do contact the police.”
Any schools that would like crime prevention advice can contact their local crime prevention officer on 101 or by email at email@example.com.
Witnesses to either of these burglaries, or anyone with information, are asked to call Northamptonshire Police on 101.