Around 1,300 students were evacuated from a Northamptonshire school on Friday morning after a false widow spider was spotted on the premises.
Malcolm Arnold Academy in Northampton was closed at 11am on Friday, September 17, and the school is expected to remain closed until Tuesday, reports Northants Live.
An email sent to parents on Friday read: ”We have today found a false widow spider in school. You may recall this happening in the past.
“Pest control are on their way and the area is isolated, but to be cautious we would recommend that your child is collected as soon as you are able for years 8, 9 and 10.
“Year 12 and 13 will be dismissed with consent. We will keep Year 7 in school in a separate building away from the spider sighting.”
The school announcement stressed: “Please be reassured that there is no cause for concern, we are simply acting with caution to ensure that pest control can eliminate the risk ready for full return on Monday.”
The school won’t actually re-open until Tuesday.
The false widow spider can be confused with the more dangerous 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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A spokesperson for the school said: “We have been in close contact with parents today to let them know that a small number of false widow spiders have been found in school.
“As a precaution students have been sent home whilst we bring in pest control to eliminate any risk ahead of all students returning to school on Tuesday.
“The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff will always be our top priority.”
The school also closed in 2018 for a spider sighting, but staff have assured parents that there is “no cause for concern”.