The rodent problem which forced a Sunderland school to close and call in Rentokil – Chronicle Live


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on December 20th, 2019

Mouse droppings were found at a Sunderland school - the day after it reopened following a 'deep clean'.

Last month, Academy 360 shut for two days after pupils fell ill.

Pest control firm Rentokil was brought in after a rat was spotted.

It reopened on November 22. In a letter to parents, headteacher Rachel Donohue said the school had been cleaned to the "highest possible standard".

That same day, a mouse was spotted - and later removed - after droppings were found, promoting staff to lay six more traps.

Now a Freedom of Information Act has revealed a rat had first been spotted, in the Pennywell school's inner quad, over six weeks before it shut.

Rentokil was called in three times in that period before the two-day closure, laying rat traps to try and catch it.

Mice and vermin were also spotted in April and November, although the school say the issue is sorted.

"Its unfortunate that sometimes schools and other buildings during winter are often a refuge for animals and wildlife that get disturbed from their normal habitat and are attracted to warm buildings especially in an open green spaces, likeAcademy360," said Jane Spence, CEO at Laidlaw Schools Trust, which operates the school.

"There is an effective and rigorous cleaning regime embedded into the daily operations of the school substantiated by the report from environmental health.

"The health, safety and welfare of our pupils, staff and local community are of paramount importance to the school and the trust."

The trust closed the school after a "significant number of pupils" displayed flu-like symptoms, including vomiting.

Dozens of North East schools took action due to pupils falling sick.

However, parents at Academy 360 reportedly were concerned the sickness was linked to pests after footage of a rodent at the Portsmouth Road school emerged on Facebook.

In the wake of that, the school confirmed sightings of rodents in "our community" but told parents "there is no threat to public health at your childs school".

The request has revealed the trust pays Rentokil 710-a-year for up to eight visits a year.

Additionally it spent just over 1,000 on kit, including metal bait safes, to try and trap the rodents.

However the CEO added: "An environmental health report has since confirmed that the building is clean and compliant in line with health and safety standards of public health and hygiene as specified in the Prevention of Damage by Pest Act 1949.

"The Senior Environmental Health Officer noted that thorough checks and measures were in place with all cleaning regimes and pest control.

"The one rodent was successfully caught and disposed of prior to the officers visit on 25November."

See the article here:
The rodent problem which forced a Sunderland school to close and call in Rentokil - Chronicle Live

Related Post