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Children in Need event cancelled at Castle Hill Primary Academy, in Folkestone, following overnight burglary

A primary school is closed and its Children in Need fundraiser has been cancelled after thieves broke in overnight and stole thousands of pounds worth of equipment.

Laptops, iPads and specialist kit for hearing impaired children were taken from Castle Hill Primary Academy, in Sidney Street, Folkestone.

Castle Hill Primary Academy
Castle Hill Primary Academy

Forensic officers are at the school this morning.

But the closure means the 400 plus pupils will now miss out taking part in the planned Children in Need fundraising activities.

This included a fancy dress day and bake sale.

Headteacher Pete Talbot said: "With the power of social media we managed to let a lot of people know we've had to close.

"But we did have to turn a lot of children away this morning at the gates in costumes.

"Understandably we have a lot of upset children and angry parents."

Mr Talbot said the damage to the school is 'limited' but said thousands of pounds worth of equipment has been taken.

Head teacher Pete Talbot. Picture: Gary Browne
Head teacher Pete Talbot. Picture: Gary Browne

This includes several brand new Roger microphones which assist children with hearing impairments, valued at over £1,000 each. Laptops and iPads were also swiped.

As the break in triggered the fire alarm, all systems at the school were automatically shut down, including the gas and heating.

Mr Talbot said: "We've had to close because the kitchen is out of action and the heating is off.

"The damage is limited but they've taken a lot."

The school says it will reopen Monday and has vowed to rearrange its Children in Need day for a later date.

Frustrated residents have now hit out at the 'morons' who raided the school.

Juliette Joyce Felton‎ posted on the Folkestone residents group on Facebook: "Whoever broke into Castle Hill Primary you are what's wrong with society.

"Damaged heating and cooking facilities and all those small children looking forward to doing their bit for Children in Need to help kids not as lucky as themselves.

"This is something you disgusting morons would not understand.

"Hope you're proud of yourselves and managed to get everything you wanted."

A teacher also posted online: "Disgusted. Beyond words. How dare anyone break into my place of work and steal laptops, iPads and hearing devices from our deaf community.

"Not only that, this is Children in Need day. A charity day that cannot go ahead because we have had to shut the school.

"If anyone hears anything or has any information I would urge you to contact the police or the school straight away."

A police spokesman said: "Kent Police is investigating a report a school in Sidney Street, Folkestone, was burgled on the night of Thursday, November 14 and Friday, November 15.

"A quantity of electrical equipment is reported to have been stolen and enquiries to establish the full circumstances are ongoing."

Anyone with information is asked to call Kent Police on 01843 222289 quoting 46/219096/19.

Alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent anonymously on 0800 555111.

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

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