CHILDREN in a Vale primary school have offered up their pocket money to pay for gates that thieves stole in a night-time raid.

Gwenfo CIW Primary’s CCTV showed hooded figures stealing the gates, which help keep the pupils safe during lessons and when at play, after 10pm on Wednesday, July 17.

Building work is currently being undertaken at the 243-pupil school which is at the centre of the community in Wenvoe village.

The school caretaker discovered the heavy, black, bespoke school entrance gates – which are around 50 years old, missing the following day.

Head teacher Nicola Starke said: “It seems that we were targeted by some opportunistic fence robbers.

“The gates are not easy to take – you wouldn’t believe it.

“They took some panels that have been temporarily removed due to building work, plus three gates from around the school.

“Literally, just lifted them off - including our front gate.

“We are upset and cross.

“Whoever has taken them has no concern for the children’s safety.

“The people who took them had their hoods up.

“Somebody has obviously been to the site before.”

She added: “The children are incredibly sad and the little ones have offered their pocket money which is really sweet.

“The first week of my summer holiday will be talking to insurance companies, getting replacements, and looking to install more CCTV.

“School budgets are really tight and we need to pay for books and materials rather than having to maintain the building and pay for replacement gates.”

Police also received a report, on July 18, of canopy poles stolen sometime before Monday, July 8.

The poles had been cut down to be reused by the builder and were taken from the builder’s yard.

A South Wales Police spokeswoman said: “We received a report of theft of gates at Gwenfo Church in Wales Primary School, Old Port Road, Wenvoe.

“Three gates were stolen from the school on July 17 at around 10.20pm.

“Enquiries are ongoing.”

Anyone with any information which could assist the investigation can call 101 quoting reference 1900261720 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.