Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

School closed by bee allergy fears

Fears over staff and pupil bee allergies forced Cardinal Newman Catholic School to break up early for summer

A headteacher has closed his school a day early because some staff and pupils are allergic to bees.

Cardinal Newman Catholic School in Hove, East Sussex, broke up for the summer on Tuesday when the swarm of bees gathered at the top of one of the teaching blocks, which meant staff had to keep the windows closed as the heatwave continued.

A statement posted on the school's website by headteacher James Kilmartin said a number of staff and pupils had serious allergies to bee stings so the school would shut its doors a day early.

He said: "Due to a combination of excessive heat and a lack of ventilation, linked to a swarm of bees, I have made the decision to close the school to students tomorrow. Staff will report to school as normal for an inset day.

"Because a swarm of bees has gathered at the top of the Cashman building we are not able to open any of the windows in Cashman or St Mary's.

"A number of our staff and students have serious allergies which can be triggered by bee stings. The excessive temperatures mean that effective teaching and learning is not possible.

"Having consulted the local authority I have, therefore, made the decision to close the school on Wednesday July 24. The school will reopen next term."

One parent who was not happy about the closure was mother-of-two Karen Slyfield, who told the Brighton Argus newspaper that there was always an excuse for closing the school.

She said: "It's not so bad for me because I work from home and I won't have to rush around finding childcare. But for other parents I can imagine it is a bit of a worry having to arrange things last minute.

"There is always an excuse for sending the kids home. It was the snow earlier this year and now this."

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