Parents angry at outbreak of rats in Portsmouth school grounds

Parents say they are furious about the rats. File picture
Parents say they are furious about the rats. File picture
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AN OUTBREAK of rats forced two Portsmouth schools to call in the exterminators.

And parents say they are furious not only about the rodents, but because the Northern Parade federated infants and junior schools had not let them know about the problem.

The rats were first spotted in the quad area of the junior school before the half-term break.

Rebecca Hosey, 36, of Howard Road, Hilsea, has an eight-year-old son in Year 3.

She said: ‘My son is a poorly child anyway so knowing what diseases rats can 
carry, it’s not a good thing knowing they are at the school.’

Peter Inguanez, 37, from Kipling Road, North End, has a 10-year-old daughter, Kaida, at the school.

He said he thought the school’s chicken pens could be attracting the rodents to the school.

Mr Inguanez said: ‘I’m not too happy about it.

‘I know they have had it before but they are supposed to be sorting it out.

‘They have got the chickens there which attracts them.’

Leah Houghton, 27, from Farmside Gardens, Hilsea, has a seven-year-old daughter Shaelee-Rae Wearn, who is in Year 3. Ms Houghton was shocked to hear that there were rats at the school.

She said: ‘It’s a bit of a shock. None of us knew about it.’

But headteacher Sue Wilson said the rodents had not been seen since classes resumed after the half-term break on Monday.

Mrs Wilson said pest controllers were called in to lay bait in an effort to eradicate the rats. She said: ‘We’ve been working with pest control services and there haven’t been any further sightings since we returned from the half-term break.

Mrs Wilson said parents were told about the rats via the school’s newsletter.

She said: ‘We hope that this is now resolved but we’ll continue to monitor the area as the health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff are our main priority.’

A mum with two boys at the school, who wished to remain anonymous, said she was concerned about the rats being in proximity to children’s food.

She said: ‘It’s not very good. I hadn’t heard about it.

‘The boys have cooked school dinners here as well which makes it worse.’

One mum with a pupil at the school, who did not want to be named, said: ‘I had no idea about this. It’s a potential health and safety risk and is totally unacceptable.’