Thieves target school minibus

THIEVES have left disabled children stranded after stealing parts from their school minibus.

Staff at Blyth’s Dales School have been forced to cancel some trips this week after the thieves targeted the bus, stealing a 6ft section of exhaust pipe and its catalytic converter.

The vehicle was parked at the front of the school in Cowpen Road last Thursday evening when the theft occurred.

Headteacher Hugh Steele said he was shocked and disappointed at the attack on their minibus, presented to the school 18 months ago by former Newcastle United star Alan Shearer on behalf of the Variety Club.

Mr Steele told the News Post Leader: “The upshot is that we aren’t able to use the bus at the minute, but we’re hoping to get it back sometime in the next week.

“Every child in the school goes swimming once a week, and we have other activities off site, but it means that we can’t do this at the moment as we’re a bus down.

“It’s just so disappointing to think someone would do something like this.”

The school, catering for children aged four to 11 with learning difficulties and disabilities, moved to Blyth last September from its former home at East Hartford School in Cramlington, taking over the former Bebside Middle School site.

A spokesperson for Northumberland County Council said: “We have put the repairs to the minibus in hand and will be completing them and getting it back to the school as soon as possible.”