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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:

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