PUPILS were sent home from school after a burst water main nearby cut the supply of water to the area.

Staff at St John’s School and Sixth Form College, A Catholic Academy, in Bishop Auckland took the decision to close the school early on Tuesday.

Evening swimming lessons at the school were also cancelled due to health and safety concerns.

Northumbrian Water confirmed they received reports of a burst water main on Cockton Hill Road at 12.30pm.

A spokesperson said: “A technician visited the site and confirmed the cause was third party damage to pipes in the area.

"Repairs were carried out and water was restored to the affected areas around Cockton Hill Road from 4.45pm.”

Further repairs are due to take place today but will not affect the supply.

The Northumbrian Water spokesperson added: “We apologise for the inconvenience this caused and thank people for their patience.”