Ardallie school has been targeted yet again by thieves, now having lead stolen from their roof for a third time.
The Buchan school, based on the A952 between Mintlaw and the Toll of Birness had £800 worth of lead stolen between May 11 and 12, a second time this year after the same incident occurred when the school returned from the Easter holidays.
Although disappointed by both the incident and the news that Aberdeenshire Council could consider the school as part of their recent cutbacks, Ardallie won’t let it get to them, constantly improving, the school is well received in it’s surrounding community and last week had two members of staff win first place at the Employee Achievement Awards.
Lynne Stewart and Nina Travis were both nominated for the Going Green Category by Mrs Steel for all of their eco work at the school and won with flying colours.
The school has also received a number of achievements including two Eco School Green Flags and a prestigious Green Butterfly Award as well as the successful running of their community cafe where the pupils take on the role of waiting staff.
Mrs Steel said: “At Ardallie we are strongly supported by both the community and a very supportive parent council and we are very grateful for their work
“The staff pupils and parents are all upset about the incident, as it’s the second time it’s happened in the past few months, we won’t let it get to us though. We are a small popular school strongly supported by the community and whoever it is must know the area.”
Member of the parent council Kirsty Moar said the school would be sorely missed in the community. “Ardallie school really is the heart of our community,” she said.
“We don’t have a local shop, so the school keeps us all together, it’s like we’re all a big family and everyone is looking out for one another.
“I have two sons at the school and my eldest daughter is now in S1 the education at Ardallie is second to none, and many of my daughters teachers’ have commented on how she is a pleasure to teach and that she is mature, articulate and well-mannered. The quality of staff at Ardallie is truly amazing and it would be a shame to see such a good school get closed.”
A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council confirmed that lead to the value of approximately £800 had been stolen from the roof of Ardallie Primary School during two separate incidents this spring.
He said: “It is disappointing the school has been targeted by thieves who don’t care about it’s significance to the wider community but we have CCTV installed in the premises and are currently assisting Grampian Police with their enquiries.”
Strichen Community Park was also targeted by thieves in an attempt to steal lead between May 7 and 9 however they were unsuccessful.
Grampian Police are asking members of the public to remain vigilant and keep a look out overnight for any suspicious vehicles or persons seen at premises such as schools, churches and commercial properties.
Mintlaw based Constable, Martin Coyle said, “Recently a number of schools and other properties in the area have been targeted and lead taken from the roofs. This type of crime is costing Aberdeenshire Council, local businesses and householders a considerable amount of money. We ask the public to assist us in catching those responsible in order to ensure that money is being spent where it is needed and not on unnecessary repairs to buildings.”