Thieves steal iPads in break-in at primary school

Rob Aldridge. Picture: Bill Henry
Rob Aldridge. Picture: Bill Henry
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THIEVES made off with around £1000 of computer equipment and cash after breaking into a city school.

The criminals struck overnight at Clermiston Primary, grabbing a “small number” of iPads and a low sum of cash.

Residents and staff have been left shocked by the incident – and the thieves were accused of depriving pupils of valuable learning tools.

Councillor Rob Aldridge, who is a member of the city’s education, children and families committee and whose ward covers the Clermiston area, said: “It’s very unusual to have this kind of incident in the area. I hope police will catch whoever has done this as quickly as possible.

“It is important equipment from the children’s education which has been stolen. I hope we can ensure that it is replaced as soon a possible so the children can continue with the excellent education which happens at this primary school.

“There is a really strong parent body there which is really keen and active.”

Education leaders have hailed iPads as a key way of incorporating information and communications technology (ICT) into everyday learning.

To date, the city council has spent more than £3 million on iPads for pupils at the Capital’s schools.

A spokesman for the local authority said: “It’s very sad that somebody would break into a school and steal iPads that are used for children’s learning and development.

“We hope that anyone who knows anything about the break-in or may be offered an iPad for sale gets in touch with police.”

Police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward after the break-in between 4pm on Sunday and 7am on Monday.

A spokesman said: “Inquiries are ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.”

The incident is the latest break-in to hit city schools, which were targeted several times this year.

In February, thieves forced entry into Lorne Primary, just off Leith Walk, and made off with several laptops and a small amount of cash. They also caused minor damage during the incident, which was said to have “upset” pupils.

Police closed off part of the playground to allow forensic investigations to be carried out.

And in May, pupils at Forthview Primary in West Pilton were devastated when their storage shed was broken into.

Bikes borrowed to help teach pupils cycling proficiency, were stolen – leaving the school desperate to raise £1000 to replace them. Footballs and gardening equipment were also taken from the shed.

In both cases, relatives and family friends of pupils rallied together to host fundraising drives to replace the equipment.