Chris Packham opening of High Tunstall College of Science new building postponed due to coronavirus measures

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The opening of a Hartlepool school’s new £18m building by Springwatch presenter Chris Packham has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

He was due to officially open High Tunstall College of Science’s new building on Tuesday, March 24, and host the school’s annual STEM lecture.

But in a letter to parents on Tuesday, March 17, headteacher Mark Tilling says it has become necessary to postpone all extra-curricular events following the latest government advice on limiting the spread of COVID-19.

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Like other schools in the town, High Tunstall remains open. Students are only advised not to go in if they, or anyone in their household, displays symptoms of the virus – a new continuous cough and/or a temperature of 38C or above.

Chris Packham was due to open High Tunstall's new school building next week, but the visit has now been postponed following coronavirus.Chris Packham was due to open High Tunstall's new school building next week, but the visit has now been postponed following coronavirus.
Chris Packham was due to open High Tunstall's new school building next week, but the visit has now been postponed following coronavirus. | Other 3rd Party

But parents and carers are asked to avoid visiting the school unless absolutely necessary.

Other upcoming events that have been postponed at High Tunstall are a Year 10 Information Evening tonight, Tuesday, March 17, and Year 9 Parents’ Evening on Thursday, March 26.

In the letter, Mr Tiling writes: “The college is currently operating as normal, however we believe as a college it is necessary to postpone all extra-curricular clubs, parents’ evenings and school visits until further notice.

“Such events will be rearranged at a later date.”

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He adds: “If your child does not have symptoms and has not been in contact with someone with symptoms, they must attend college as normal.”

As well as opening the new building, Packham was due to talk to students from across the town about his memoirs ‘Fingers in the Sparkle Jar’.