Classrooms flooded after thieves steal lead from roof of Sunderland primary school

Thieves have targeted Easington Lane Primary School three times in the last two weeks stealing lead from the roof – and recent heavy rain has damaged classrooms.

Monday, 30th September 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 30th September 2019, 9:59 am
Easington Lane headteacher Sarah Nordstrom catches water from a leaking classroom ceiling as pupils carry on with their lesson. Picture by FRANK REID

Water leaked into the school after the lead flashing was stolen from the roof causing chaos for pupils and teachers.

But although dealing with a ‘logistical nightmare’ the determined school has stayed open – with lessons being taught in the hall and library and classes have been joined together to ensure the school’s children don’t miss out on their education.

Headteacher Sarah Nordstrom says the school has been target three times in the past two weeks – with the most recent incident occurring overnight on Monday, September 23.

Damage has been caused to the classrooms as water leaked through the damaged roof

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Recent rainfall means classrooms have suffered water damage as the flashing is vital to keeping the building waterproof.

Remedial work has been carried out and the complexity of the damage is being assessed so final repairs can be completed.

Now a Just Giving page has been set up to help give the school a boost and in less than 48 hours more £400 was donated.

Mrs Nordstrom, who has been at the school for 12 years, said: “The rain has come in everywhere causing significant damage and causing chaos for us.

Keeping the school running has been a 'logistical nightmare' but staff have been determined not to close

“A parent got in touch and asked if they could set up a Just Giving page. We are insured but they said they wanted to help.

“The money raised will go towards doing something really special for all the children.

“The response has been amazing. Easington Lane is a great place to live and work and the community does come together in times like this.

“I’ve been here 12 years and we’ve never had anything like this before. The school is very much the heart of the community and everyone seems as concerned as us that something like this has happened.”

The damage to the roof at Easington Lane Primary School.

The incidents have been reported to police but so far no one has been arrested in relation to the thefts.

Neighbourhood Inspector Nick Gjorven said: "We are aware of a number of incidents where lead has been stolen from the roof of Easington Lane Primary School.

“A number of enquiries have been carried out to identify those responsible but to date nobody has been arrested.

“Officers have carried out high visibility patrols in the area to prevent further incidents from taking place and had a number of conversations with both the school and the local authority.

Easington Lane Primary School.

“It is not acceptable for thieves to target any property, never mind a primary school, and we would encourage them to think twice about their behaviour.

“Anyone who knows those responsible, or has information that could assist police, is asked to contact officers on 101 or by reporting online at the Northumbria Police website."