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Start date delayed after break-in at new Blackburn super-school
THE headteacher of Blackburn’s newest ‘super school’ has described the moment he told students he was delaying the school’s grand opening as ‘devastating’.
Blackburn Central High School was due to open its doors for the first time to former Blakewater College and Crosshill School students last week, but were forced to delay, after a thief broke into the school and stole £24,000 worth of computer equipment.
Alan Chambers, head of the new £24million school, said the burglary had not only seen dozens of computers stolen and internal windows broken, but it had also caused serve damage to the school’s IT infrastructure.
Mr Chambers said: “The damage to the school’s IT infrastructure has put us back days. Our IT department is working flat out to repair the damage and get the school back online before we open to students next week.
“The damage has also affected many of the teachers IT tools including the electronic registers and class white boards.
“We wanted to open this week and give the students the wow factor, so it was really gutting to have to write to parents and tell them we were forced to delay.
“However, everyone has been really supportive and we won’t let this hitch damage the great opportunity this school will provide the pupils of today and tomorrow.”
Due to the break-in on Tuesday (4), the first wave of school’s 760 pupils will only catch a glimpse of their state-of-the-art facilities on Wednesday.
Education bosses said the school will be fully up and running by September 17.
The Haslingden Road School includes an outdoor art studios, all-weather sports pitches, recording studios and workshops aiming to give students aged 11 to 16 a taste of the world of work.
The new school will be slightly smaller than Blakewater College, but, with its open space and huge glass windows, Blackburn Central, one of the last projects to be built under the Building Schools for the Future programme, is among the most modern in the country.
Daniel McGeough, 31, of no fixed address, appeared before Blackburn magistrates charged with burglary, theft of gardening equipment and possession of a blade, a craft knife, in a public place.
Magistrates remanded McGeough into custody so he could stand trial at Preston Crown Court at a later date.