Northampton headteacher says school will 'stay strong' after pupils' IT equipment stolen in burglary

The caretaker arrived on Friday morning (September 28) to a trail of destruction.
The caretaker arrived on Friday morning (September 28) to a trail of destruction.

A fundraising page has been set up by parents after burglars broke into a Northampton school before stealing laptops, iPads and tablet computers worth about £35,000.

The incident happened between 6.30pm on Thursday, September 27, and 6.30am on Friday, September 28, when an unknown number of raiders got into The Abbey Primary School in Winchester Road, Delapre by cutting the locks at the gate and breaking a door.

iPad trolleys were smashed after the burglars broke in.

iPad trolleys were smashed after the burglars broke in.

Once inside they stole a number of laptops, tablets and iPads worth about £35,000 from the school's media suite and iPads from the classrooms.

Headteacher Renuka Popat told the Chronicle & Echo that the computing curriculum cannot be taught because of the break-in.

She said: "We have only just got the iPads and the children had only just started using them last week for the first time and then in 48 hours they had gone.

"It's a huge loss and stealing from children is disgraceful really. Now they are denying them their education.

"I have been headteacher for 12 years and I have never had anything like this in the time we have been here."

Now kind-hearted parents have issued a plea for £2,000 in donations to cover the cost of some of the equipment that was stolen, and so far £600 has been pledged.

Mum Jodie Shaw set up a fundraising page after she heard the news. On the Crowdfunding page, she said: "My son's school, The Abbey Primary School in Delapre, unfortunately, had a break in on Thursday night, 27th September 2018.

"All of the IT equipment was stolen in the break-in and I would really love to see what we can do in order to try and replace some on the equipment.

"Whether we like it or not, technology now plays such a huge part of our children's lives, and using this as a way of learning has become vital to schools. I've set a target, although unsure how much is needed, so please give what you can as every penny counts."

Mrs Popat added that she was overwhelmed with kindness from her community who are pledging funds while the school waits for an insurance payout.

"[On Friday] we managed to locate the children as we wanted to show them that we would not be threatened by these people and we would stay strong.

"What our parents have done is absolutely lovely and it's so kind of them.

"It's lovely to see how much support we have had."

A spokeswoman for Northamptonshire Police said: "We’re still appealing for witnesses and information and would encourage anyone with information to come forward".

No arrests have been made so far.

Anyone with information should contact Northamptonshire Police on 101. Alternatively, they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.