Lead stolen from Gloucestershire school's roof - police appeal for witnesses

It is believed that a group climbed up on the roof and tore off the metal Credit: The British School

A headteacher in Gloucestershire has described the "soul-destroying" moment he saw that lead from the roof of his school had been stolen for a second time in two years.

It is believed that a group climbed up on the roof of The British School in Wotton-under-Edge and tore off the metal in the evening on Monday (25 April) or in the early hours of Tuesday.

Headteacher of the school, Abel Roche, said: "I walked into the building and there were jagged bits of lead just torn off and there were large lumps on the floor we had to tidy up.

"There's damage caused to the tiles and the guttering when they've got up onto the roof. There's just an awful lot of damage involved", he added.

The school caretaker noticed the damage when he arrived to open up the building Credit: The British School

Mr Roche said that fortunately the disruption to the students had been minimal and lessons could continue as normal.

"We're lucky really that it wasn't raining with water coming through into the building", he said.

The headteacher told ITV News that a similar incident happened around a year ago, but the damage caused this time was far worse.

“This time, everywhere you looked on the roof, the lead had been ripped up, exposing the wooden beams. The amount of lead that was missing must have meant that a vehicle had to be parked to transport it all away", he said.

  • Watch the school's headteacher on the damage caused by the theft

Currently, the school doesn't have CCTV overlooking the roof, but they are now considering bringing it in so the area can be monitored.

"CCTV in itself is a cost that I think will be thousands of pounds", Mr Roche said.

"Thousands of pounds we should be spending on books or resources for the children that we're having to spend on keeping the school secure and safe which is a sad state of affairs", he added.

The school has said it is now looking to buy CCTV that monitors the roof. Credit: The British School

Gloucestershire Police officers are appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious around Wortley Road around the time of the incident to come forward.

A spokesperson from the force said: "We received a report that lead had been stolen from the roof of a property on Wortley Road, Wotton-Under-Edge between 6.30pm on Monday 25 April and 6.15am on Tuesday 26 April.

"The thieves had gained access to the roof and removed the lead from a number of places.

"Anyone with information can contact Gloucestershire Constabulary through its website, quoting incident 57 of 26 April."