A headteacher is stepping up security at a Rochford school after a gang of thieves sneaked onto the premises while pupils were studying and stole their bikes.

Jonathan Osborn, headteacher at King Edmund School, in Vaughan Close, sent a letter to parents and carers of the pupils after three people were captured on CCTV cameras stealing three bicycles from the school’s bike sheds.

The thieves crept into the shed and cut off the bike locks with bolt cutters.

The letter said: “I am writing to you following an incident on Friday when three bicycles were stolen from the school bike shed.

“The incident occurred midway through period five when three individuals came into the school car-park and took three bikes using bolt cutters to remove the locks on the bikes.”

Mr Osborn said that the school will be available to advise parents to make sure their children take further precautions when locking their bikes up on site.

He assured parents that the incident is not a common occurrence, however, the school are going to be changing their approach to maintaining the security of the bikes.

The bike shed will now be locked up throughout the day.

He said: “Until further notice, the school bike shed will be secured from 8.20am until 2.05pm each school day.

“While this will give some extra security, it does mean that they will not be opened outside these times.

“I am sure that parents will understand that it is not possible to have staff on call to open and close the bike sheds during the school day whenever it is requested.

“We are currently looking at what we do as a school to help with this and I’ll take whatever steps we can to make it more difficult for any prospective thief to steal a bike.

“I would urge any parent, or indeed student, who knows anything about the identity of these individuals to either speak to the police or a member of school staff.

“We want to catch those concerned and see the bikes returned to their owners.”