A CONINGSBY Pre-school was left on the brink of closure because of crippling debts after a member of staff stole almost £30,000.
Tracey Clark, 43, the former treasurer at Jacdor Community Pre-School, stole the money during a two year period.
It is understood the thefts only came to light after the appointment of a new chairman of the school’s management committee.
Last week Skegness Magistrates’ Court were told the thefts caused massive problems for the school which has 60 pupils.
At one stage, as many as ten jobs were hanging in the balance while negotiations took place with a number of creditors, including the tax-man.
Clark, of Ingham Road, Coningsby, stole three separate amounts - £15,391.14, £5,316.36 and £8,360.30 - between January 1, 2009 and August 1, 2001.
She pleaded guilty to all three offences and was committed to Crown Court for sentencing at a later date.
Marilyn Hawkins, chairman of the school’s management committee, said she hoped Clark would be “suitably punished”.
She also said she hoped some way could be found to make Clark compensate the school for its losses.
Mrs Hawkins said: “The school has suffered considerable financial losses because of the thefts carried out by the former treasurer from the school accounts and last year was a difficult period for everyone.
“The person concerned has now pleaded guilty to the charges and it is to be hoped that she will be suitably punished and some way found to make her compensate the school for its losses.”
Mrs Hawkins went on to praise staff for their support and stressed she believed the school faced a bright future.
She added: “Since these matters came to light, the members of the school staff have behaved professionally at all times and, for legal reasons, have been unable to discuss with anyone the problems the school has experienced.
“As always, the education and well being of the children in our care has been the priority throughout this time.
“I would like to thank the school trustees, my committee members and especially the staff for all the help they have given me during the past few months as we try to recover from the situation.
“I would also like to place on record my gratitude to Lincolnshire County Council and Lincolnshire Police for the help and support they have given us.
“We are determined to put the situation behind us and with the cooperation of everyone - and I include parents and the families of children in our care - I am convinced there is a bright future for this important pre-school facility in our community.”
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Monday 20 May 2013
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