TWO more schools have closed temporarily to try and prevent the spread of a winter virus among pupils.

Risedale Sports and Communtiy College and Carnagill Community Primary School, both in Catterick Garrison, are the latest among several across the region to experience unprecedented levels of sickness in the classroom.

Risedale will be shut tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday, while Carnagill closed on Wednesday but is expecting to be open as normal on Friday.

In a letter, the principal of Risedale, Colin Scott, explained the reasons behind the two-day closure.

He said: "We are aware that many people within the local community are enduring a bout of illness caused by a winter virus, including a spread of the norovirus.

"Over the last few days, pupil attendance numbers have dropped dramatically and continues to fall.

"As always the health and well-being of pupils is paramount.

"In view of this, and having taken independent advice, we have taken the exceptional decision to close the school on Thursday 28th and Friday 29th November.

"We hope that this will allow any pupils currently suffering with illness a few days to recover and will prevent the risk of any infections spreading further." 

He adds: "I would reassure parents and pupils that during the school closure we will be carrying out a deep clean so that the school will be ready and safe for pupils to return on Monday.

"Please know that we do not take the decision to close the school lightly and are aware of the impact on parents and issues around work commitments and child care.

"I hope you all agree, this is the right course of action to help pupils recover and be fully fit by Monday ready for a return to school.

"I thank you all for your understanding and cooperation."

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 several schools in County Durham and Teesside, have required affected schools to perform a deep clean before re-opening.