Headteachers criticised by wildlife charities for closing schools amid spider invasion

Wildlife experts have criticised four London schools for closing their doors because of an invasion of false widow spiders. The Telegraph reports.

Ellen Wilkinson Primary School, Star Primary School, Lister Community School and Rokeby School in east London were closed on Wednesday so buildings could be fumigated.

But experts from the charity Buglife and the educational group UK Wildlife have condemned the move as an over-reaction and warned that children may be at greater risk from the pesticides used to get rid of the spiders.

Buglife CEO Matt Shardlow said the closures were a ‘radical and unnecessary over-reaction to the tiny risk posed’

“These sit-and-wait predators merely inhabit webs in discrete corners eating flies and other insects. On the other hand there are many severe negative health impacts recorded from exposure to pesticides.”

A Newham Council spokeswoman said it would take around three weeks to eradicate the spiders.

However Neil Phillips who founded UK Wildlife said it was ‘possibly the worst over-reaction’ to spiders he had ever seen.

“Whoever told them the spiders needed removing is just wrong.   Who is the council getting this advice from? Hope it’s not the pest control company who will be making a lot of money at the expense of children’s education.”

Read more Headteachers criticised by wildlife charities for closing schools amid spider invasion 

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  1. wasateacher

    Matt Shardlow clearly has no idea what it would be like trying to teach a class enjoying making a huge fuss about the spiders or the panic by those pupils who genuinely are scared of them.

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