School raiders leave classrooms unusable

A SECOND break-in at a St Albans primary school overnight on Sunday has left many pupils without a classroom this week. Thieves broke into Mandeville Primary School on Mandeville Drive sometime between Sunday afternoon and the early hours of Monday morni

A SECOND break-in at a St Albans primary school overnight on Sunday has left many pupils without a classroom this week.

Thieves broke into Mandeville Primary School on Mandeville Drive sometime between Sunday afternoon and the early hours of Monday morning, stealing a number of laptops from the junior wing of the school.

The criminals, who smashed windows to enter the premises, left a trail of destruction in their path, ransacking the junior classrooms and head teacher Amanda Godfrey's office.

Three classrooms could not be used this week because of glass shards embedded in the carpet, and Years Five and Six had to be taught together in the school hall.


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Mrs Godfrey said that the mess caused by the burglary was the worst part of the ordeal. "It's such a disruption to the children's learning: Key Stage Two pupils couldn't even come in on Monday morning", she said.

The burglary is not the first the school has suffered since the start of the new term. Two weeks ago thieves smashed the window of Mrs Godfrey's office and left with the safe containing some cash.

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As a result the school instituted drastic security measures including a cash-free school policy whereby all transactions must be paid for by cheque.

The break-ins have shocked parents and pupils. Alison Patel, a parent governor at the school and mother of two Mandeville pupils, said that the raids ruined the school's new-term optimism.

The school has taken in additional pupils this term to help overcome the problem of a shortage of primary places in city-centre schools.

She added: "So much money was spent on making the school nice over the summer holidays and now it's ruined."

A new alarm system was being installed at Mandeville today (Monday) and Mrs Godfrey praised her staff for being so supportive: "We're a well-oiled machine, and everyone is pulling together to try and get through this tough time".

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