AN 'unprecedented' level of sickness amongst pupils and staff has forced a Darlington primary school to close for most of the week. 

High Coniscliffe Church of England Primary School near Darlington announced it would close from 1pm on Monday to 'prevent and eliminate' the spread of infection.

Letters sent to parents revealing the school had seen 30 percent of its pupils and half of its staff absent, confirmed it would remain closed for the next three days.

The school said it was contacting parents of children to collect their child from school by 1pm or urging those to contact the school if this was not possible. 

Earlier this week, Public Health England officials were called to 60 schools across the North-East following an outbreak of flu-like symptoms.

The outbreak of sickness, which forced the closure of some schools in County Durham and Teesside, have required affected schools to perform a deep clean before re-opening.

The school said it was aiming to re-open on Thursday, November 28 - to contact the school telephone 01325-374412.