A headteacher has spoken of her anger and frustration after thieves took copper piping and outdoor taps from the wall of a South Tyneside school.
Denise Todd says work to replace them will now have to be carried out before they are needed for use in the spring by youngsters at Ashley Primary School in Stanhope Road, South Shields.
We have reported the theft to the police and the CCTV is being checked. They have stolen from our children.Denise Todd
The taps were installed outside a few years ago and since then have been used by hundreds of pupils to fill up their watering cans to enable them to tend to the school’s garden.
Growing vegetables and gardening are activities youngsters enjoy taking part in, which was the reason why the outdoor taps were installed to make it easier for them to transport water.
Mrs Todd said: “We do a lot of gardening work with the children, helping them grow their own vegetables and then cooking them.
“We have gardening clubs and having the taps installed outside made it easier for them to fill up their watering cans rather than going back and forth into the school.
“They have been in a few years so I’m furious they have been taken,
“We have reported the theft to the police and the CCTV is being checked. They have stolen from our children.
“At the moment we aren’t using them, but they will have to be replaced in time for Spring, so there will be a cost involved.”
The youngsters take part in gardening activities from March until September as part of the curriculum and have access to outdoor classrooms.
Mrs Todd added: “For some of our pupils, it can be the only chance they have to experience taking care of a garden and they really enjoy it.
“I have sent a message out to parents to let them know what has happened and to see if anyone has information on who has done this.”
A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “At 8.38am on Monday, police received a report of a theft at Ashley Primary School, South Shields.
“Outdoor taps and copper piping were stolen from the site at some point between 5pm on Friday and the time it was reported.
“Inquiries are ongoing to trace those responsible.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101. Callers are asked to quote reference 169 of 03/12/18 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.