COLCHESTER Academy has had to close this afternoon.

Headteacher Fiona Pierson announced the closure late this morning, after the heating and hot water stopped working.

She said: "We have had to force school closure today due to the fact we have no heating or hot water. Although this is disappointing we cannot operate the school safely or hygienically.

"We cannot provide hot lunches.

"We have engineers on site to help resolve the issue and we do not anticipate the school's closure beyond today, however we will communicate arrangements for Thursday via our website by 5pm today."

The cause of the problem is being investigated.

UPDATED: The school will be open as usual tomorrow