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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


Plans revealed for new 1,200 pupil school in Newcastle

Plans for a new school for 1,200 9 to 16-year-olds in Newcastle have been revealed by by the Government.

The academy trust Gosforth Federated Academies Ltd is to open the Gosforth Great Park Academy in Gosforth, Newcastle, once full plans have been drawn up.

Building on their successes within their two existing academies, both judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, the new school will aim to provide academic excellence centred around the core skills of English, mathematics, science, and PE.

Students will be able to access a varied vocational programme, as well as a highly successful languages programme supported by the University of Newcastle.

How well is your child's school doing?

Figures on school performance have been released by the Department for Education Credit: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

The Government has released the annual performance figures for state funded secondary schools in England.

You can find out how your child's school is performing by visiting this link.

The Department for Education supplies information about how primary level children are performing in reading, maths, grammar, punctuation and spelling. At secondary level, key information such as how many students gain five good GCSEs can help you decide if your child's school is providing a good education.


Teacher: 'It's largely about the conditions for me'

Thousands of public sector workers from across the North East are taking part in a 24-hour strike today.

Like the last strike of this scale, it means hundreds of our schools will be closed or partially closed. The industrial action also affects town halls, libraries, Sure Start centres and many other council-run facilities.

The action is part of an ongoing dispute over pay, pensions and working conditions.

Nik Jones, from Wolsingham School and Community College in County Durham, is one of thousands of members of the National Union of Teachers taking part in the walkout. "It's largely about the conditions for me", he said.

  1. National

Poll: 51% oppose teachers' walkout

Half of the British public oppose teachers going on strike today, according to an ITV News Index poll carried out by ComRes.

A young boy in Liverpool's Mann Island holds aloft a flag in support for the strike. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

When asked whether teachers were right or wrong to go on strike, 51% said they opposed the walkout, 35% supported the strike and 14% did not know.

The poll also showed that those working in the public sector are more likely to support the strike (45%) than oppose it (41%).

Some 2,039 people were asked by ComRes about the strike.

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