Heartless thieves stole almost £1,000 worth of oil from a village school to leave pupils and staff with no heating.
Somerby School had to close on Monday as a result and all 35 children were sent home.
Plans were in place for pupils to have lessons at neighbouring Ab Kettleby School but suppliers managed to deliver an emergency replacement load early on Tuesday so the children could be taught at Somerby.
Head teacher Ian Toon said: “We’ve never had a theft like this before and it was the worst time of year for this to happen with the weather we’ve been having.
“It was so cold in the classroom on Monday and we had no hot water so we reluctantly decided to close temporarily.”
Mr Toon, who is also head at Ab Kettleby, was amazed when he found out about the theft of the oil, which was taken from a tank at the side of the school.
“When we got into school on Monday morning we went to fire up the heating because it was so cold,” he said.
“I got the engineer out and when he tried he said there was no fuel coming through.
“We then discovered there was not a drop of oil left in the tank - there had been a year’s supply there which we had delivered just before Christmas.
“They must have known we were a school and yet they still stole our oil.
“We are just very grateful to the oil company for making us a priority and replacing the fuel so quickly.”
Parents were angered by the crime and some people sent messages of support to the school on social media .
Lucie Bentley posted: “Simply unbelievable. Despicable people.”
Matty P commented: “Some people have no shame.
“Even in thieving terms, stealing from a school where children need to be kept warm in the depths of winter is low.”
A Leicestershire Police spokesperson said: “Officers received a report of a theft from a building in High Street in Somerby, which happened between 6pm on Friday and 7.30am on Monday.
“A quantity of oil was stolen from the premises and we would like to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area between those times.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting the crime reference 18000091692.