MICE CLOSE SCHOOL; Rodents Invade Classrooms

Article excerpt

Byline: BY BOB HAYWOOD

A MIDLAND school is hoping to re-open tomorrow - after being closed by a mouse invasion.

Hundreds of rodents descended on the classrooms, communal areas and cupboards, gobbled up scraps of food and chewed through clothes and equipment.

The widespread extent of the infestation came to light after staff spotted droppings last weekend.

Pest-control experts discovered the problem was so bad that the school had to be closed last Monday.

Then poison was laid down, traps set and the whole school had to be deep-cleaned and disinfected during the rest of the week.

Last night, Howard Jones, head teacher of The Heart of the Forest Community Special School in Coleford, Gloucestershire, said: "We are in a rural setting among many natural animal habitats.

"Unfortunately, mice see the school as a nice hotel for the winter." The school has 76 pupils aged three to 19 who have severe, profound and multiple learning disabilities.

Mr Jones said: "Once it became clear that we had a major problem with mice, we had to take decisive action and the school was closed. …