False Widow Spider Outbreak Caused Another Northampton School To Shut Down

A SECOND school has been forced to evacuate in just a week after a suspected false widow spider outbreak.

After the creepy crawly was detected, the Dunston School in Northampton has sent more than 1,500 students home.

The school has been forced to shut after another spider outbreak

The infestation, if confirmed, would be the second to shut a second school after Malcolm Arnold Academy, which had to shut temporarily last week on September 17.

Sam Strickland, Duston’s principal, confirmed that the school’s primary and secondary schools would have to close.

While the arachnids were being removed, he said that students and staff will not be allowed to attend school.

Teachers will provide online work for pupils, but they won’t be able to give them a break.

The letter, sent to parents yesterday said: “Please be advised that due to a suspected outbreak of False Black Widow Spiders we are regrettably having to close both phases of the school to all pupils and staff tomorrow to allow the situation to be assessed and for the school to be cleaned.

“A decision regarding the re-opening of the school will be made following an update tomorrow and this will be communicated to you accordingly.

“However, the health and safety of the school community must come first
and foremost.

“Work will be set for all of our pupils to complete at home via Microsoft Teams. I will update you as soon as I have any further news.”

The false widow spider can be confused with the more dangerous and deadly black widow. Although they bite humans, they rarely cause serious injury.

They are often sighted at this time of year, and in what the Wildlife Trust describes as “extremely rare” cases of humans being bitten by them, it is compared to a wasp’s sting.

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