Fulwood primary school hit with £4,000 repair bill after lead thieves damage roof over Easter

A primary school in Fulwood has been told it will have to pay nearly £4,000 to repair a roof damaged by thieves during the Easter holidays.

Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 12:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 2:59 pm
The thieves did not manage to take any of the lead as they were disturbed after a vigilant neighbour alerted the police. But they did cause untold damage to the roof.

A group of men were seen climbing onto the roof of Kennington Primary School shortly after 9.15pm on Monday, April 15.

A vigilant neighbour alerted the police and the would-be thieves fled after dumping the lead they had managed to rip from the roof.

According to the school, the lead stripped and left behind had a value of around £60.

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But the school has been hit with a repair bill of nearly £4,000 after extensive damage was caused to the roof during the theft.

Headteacher Simon Pritchard expressed his frustration at the "mindless damage" caused by the vandals.

"It’s really maddening to think that someone would cause so much damage for such little reward at the end of it", said the headmaster.

"Speaking to the roofers, they estimate that the lead they would have taken would have been worth about £60 and yet it will cost nearly £4,000 to repair.

The thieves did not manage to take any of the lead as they were disturbed after a vigilant neighbour alerted the police. But they did cause untold damage to the roof.

"Schools are such easy targets for criminals especially during the school holidays."

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But Mr Pritchard praised the school's neighbours for keeping a vigilant watch over the school during the holidays.

"It was a local resident/parent who alerted the police and it’s comforting to know that the local community are keeping an eye on things when the building is empty", he said.

The thieves were disturbed by a neighbour who reported the theft to police.

The headmaster said the school will have to use funds from its limited maintenance budget to repair the damage.

"If only the would be thieves kept up with current affairs, they would know that school budgets are under extreme pressure at the moment and head teachers can’t afford to keep dipping into their funds to repair criminal damage", said Mr Pritchard.

"When we do, it only takes resources away from the pupils and staff.

"That amount of money has probably halved the budget we had for improvements and maintenance and we are only three weeks into the new financial year."

Thieves tried to steal the lead from Kennington Primary School in Fulwood over the Easter holidays.

Work men arrived at the school to begin repairing the damage this morning (Wednesday, April 24) and the school has set up a fundraising page to try and recoup some of the costs.

Mr Pritchard added: "We?re raising £3,800 to help pay for damages to our school roof caused by the attempted theft and vandalism.

"But it is infuriating to think that the money is being spent on repairing needless vandalism when it could be spent on so many better things to enhance our children’s experiences at school.

"Please help us raise the money needed to make the repairs so our budget can be spent on improving the experience of the children in our school community. Thank you."

A police spokesman said: "We were called around 9.20pm and attended the scene but the offenders had made off.

"The incident remains under investigation."

The lead stripped and left behind by the thieves had a value of around 60, but the costs of repairs will be nearly 4,000.

You can donate to the school's fundraising appeal here.