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Gateshead nursery closes after teacher bitten by exotic spider

A nursery school in Gateshead has closed after a teacher was bitten by what is suspected to be an exotic spider.

The incident at Bensham Grove Community Nursery School on Sidney Grove happened yesterday as a teacher was putting bananas into a fruitbowl.

The teacher was examined by doctors at the QE hospital in Gateshead for swelling and bruising. The school say she is now "absolutely fine".

The school has been closed until further notice as the Council's Health and Safety Teams and Pest Control teams work to locate the spider.

Credit: Facebook

The nursery school is attended by children aged 0-5.

Denise Henry, head teacher at Bensham Grove Community Nursery School, and Helen Bowlby, 4Children Daycare, said:

One of our members of staff was bitten while putting bananas that had been supplied by our fruit suppliers into the fruit bowl. The member of staff was examined by medical staff at the QE Hospital and although she suffered some swelling and bruising at the time she is now absolutely fine.

The hospital suspects it is a spider bite. We are now working closely with the Council’s Health and Safety and Pest Control teams and with the food suppliers to decide upon the best way forward.

The safety of our children is paramount and the school and daycare will therefore remain closed until we are satisfied that the situation has been dealt with and there is no risk to our children. Alternative provision for the daycare has been made available to parents in the meantime.”

– Denise Henry, head teacher at Bensham Grove Community Nursery School


WATCH: Thousands of Durham Teaching Assistants to have their pay slashed

Thousands of teaching assistants in County Durham will have their pay cut under controversial plans that have been approved by councillors today.

2,700 school staff will have their contracts terminated, and new terms introduced. Durham County Council says it has to make the move to even up inequalities in pay between employees.

But unions say TAs could lose up to £400 a month - and that could have 'devastating' financial consequences for many of them.

Here's our Education Correspondent Tom Sheldrick:

Durham councillors approve contract changes for teaching assistants

Durham councillors have approved controversial plans to terminate the contracts of 2,700 teaching assistants and re-employ them on changed conditions.

Many teaching assistants and their unions say this will cost them up to £400 per month.

Durham County Council insists the proposals are necessary, otherwise it could face equal pay challenges due to discrepancies between different positions.

Hundreds gather to say goodbye to Tyler Garwood

Hundreds of people attended the funeral at West Road Crematorium Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Hundreds of people have gathered for the funeral of Tyler Garwood in Newcastle. The 14 year old died suddenly of suspected meningitis two weeks ago.

Tributes were paid to the Kenton School pupil and talented footballer when his death was announced.

Mourners were encouraged to wear Newcastle United football shirts for the funeral.

Tyler Garwood was a Year 9 pupil at Kenton School in Newcastle Credit: Garwood Family


Durham School questions delay after refugee places offer

The headmaster at a boarding school in Durham has questioned why an offer, made eight months ago, to place unaccompanied Syrian refugee children had still not been taken up.

Durham School is among group of independent schools around Britain, to have offered a total of 80 free places for child refugees.

The government says the Syrian Resettlement Programme has promoted the offers to councils - and Durham County Council told us it was actively looking into the logistics needed to considered before any children are placed in the county.

Watch our Education & Social Affairs Correspondent Tom Sheldrick's report:

Schools welcome U-turn over forced academisation

The group representing schools in the North East has welcomed the government's decision to abandon plans to force all schools to become academies.

The proposals were announced in March's Budget, and have proven highly controversial.

It is understood that the government's U-turn will now mean schools rated good and outstanding by Ofsted will be given the choice of whether to take on academy status.

SCHOOLS NorthEast, which represents 1,250 schools in the region, said "the Department for Education is at risk of becoming the Ministry of Mass Confusion" over recent "turmoil" that is "unsettling schools."

The group said it will now be seeking clarification from the government over what happens next.

The past few weeks have been nothing short of shambolic. We have seen Sats tests thrown into absolute chaos by leaked papers, parental boycotts, a backtracking on reception assessments due to comparability issues that had been flagged to the Government before, and now a U-turn on the most significant element of the education white paper. The Department for Education is at risk of becoming the Ministry of Mass Confusion.

There is no clear picture of what these changes mean for the North East. The Government is still set on delivering their academisation promise, but through other means. We want to know what that entails and which areas in our region will be at risk.

– Mike Parker - Director, SCHOOLS NorthEast
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