'Fingers crossed' as primary school awaits repairs after theft

PUBLISHED: 08:48 04 February 2019

Thieves stole lead from the Great Dunmow Primary's roof over the Christmas holidays. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Thieves stole lead from the Great Dunmow Primary's roof over the Christmas holidays. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archant

Teachers at Great Dunmow Primary are ‘keeping their fingers crossed’ and hoping there will be no further damage to the school as they await repairs to the roof after lead thieves struck.

Work to replace the lead, which had been installed to prevent water leaking through to classrooms, dining room and computer suite below, is likely to take place during the school’s half-term, between February 16-25, the head teacher, Kevin Watts, has said.

After the Christmas holidays, pupils and staff returned to find that thieves had stripped lead flashing from the entire length of the main school building, causing “considerable damage”, according to a school newsletter.

The theft has left the school vulnerable to leaks, Mr Watts said after the discovery.

Mr Watts told the Broadcast: “We have had further visits from different contractors last week and the work to replace the lead is likely to take place during half-term as the project manager is concerned about the disruption that replacing the lead may cause and all the health and safety implications to a school of over 420 pupils. “Fortunately, the school insurers have agreed to pay so this will not have too much of a financial burden - apart from the excess - but could cause us lots of disruption if they don’t manage to get the work finished at half term.

“Parents were informed of the theft and one of the parents actually offered to help out through his roofing company which shows just how supportive our parents are.”

Mr Watts continued: “Fortunately, the change in weather hasn’t meant any more damage but the forecast doesn’t look good so we are keeping our fingers crossed and hoping that further damage will be limited.

“We are not aware of the cost implications as the insurers are dealing with that side of things.”

Mr Watts said his initial thoughts after the discovery were “shock and disappointment that somebody could do this to the school and disrupt learning of pupils.” If you have any information about the theft, call Essex Police on 101. Alternatively, contact the Crimestoppers charity, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or use the anonymous online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org.

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