SOME 1,400 pupils have been sent home for three days from Ashburton’s South Dartmoor Community College this afternoon after an outbreak of sickness and diarrhoea.
The school is being shut down so a gang of ‘deep cleaners’ can deluge the main building and its sister Atrium Studio with detergent as staff and pupils succumb to the Norovirus-type bug.
The mass exodus is a copy of last week’s abandonment of Bovey Tracey Primary School when all 300 pupils were given a similar unexpected three-day holiday when the same illness struck. College Head Hugh Bellamy said the school was forced to make the closure decision after the number of sick pupils rocketed through the week.
‘We spoke to the public health people today and decided it was best to shut for three days to allow a deep clean to take place on both sites. ‘There was no way we could cope with the number of staff and pupils going down with the bug. About 150 went down with it today alone,’ he revealed.
He said the initial rumblings started on Friday and got progressively worse from the start of the week. It was hoped the school would re-open on Monday.