Thieves snatch school’s laptops in nighttime robbery

Laptops acquired from the government's Computer for Schools grant stolen from Sydney school.

Forty two laptops including Macs and Lenovos that were going to be used by Year 11 and 12 students from a western Sydney school were stolen over the weekend, leaving students potentially stranded when the next term starts in a couple of weeks.

St Andrew’s College in Marayong received the computers two weeks ago, which were purchased with the help of the federal government’s Computer for Schools grant. The computers were kept in secure storage until next term started. It is the school holiday period in NSW at the moment.

“It is very disappointing as it will interrupt the students' learning,” said St Andrew’s College Principal, Nicholas Vidot.

Vidot says the computers were going to be used to enhance learning via mobile technology. The laptops would be moved from classroom to classroom so that more students could use them.

Although the computers were covered by insurance, it will take a while before the insurance money comes through to purchase replacement laptops.

Police officers are investigating the break-in which occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning. According to the police, the thieves broke a second story window and using props, created for the school eisteddfod, as a ladder, they passed the computers through the open window and fled, activating the security alarm.

St Andrew’s College had successfully applied for a government grant to purchase the 42 laptops. The grant is part of the Australian government’s $1.2 billion Digital Education revolution initiative, which aims to invest $1.1 billion over 5 years to provide new or upgraded information and communications technology (ICT) for secondary schools with students in Years 9 to 12.

Crime scene investigators attended the school and dusted for fingerprints, but investigations are continuing.

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Julie Shingleton

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