Around 500 pupils at a school in Cornwall are to be given antibiotics after a young girl died from meningitis and another pupil was admitted to hospital with a suspected case of the disease.

Wadebridge School said the Year 8 girl, whom sources have named as Eloise Williams, died on 29 March.

Almost half the 1,200 pupils at the mixed-sex comprehensive in the town of Wadebridge are to be given medication as a precaution

The headteacher, Tina Yardley, said: "The whole school community is shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic news.

"She was a beautiful and talented little girl, whose smile lit up the room. She cared for others, worked hard in lessons and was a credit to her family and our school." The second child is said to be "stable and doing well" in hospital in Truro.

The Health Protection Agency's infectious disease specialist, Dr Mark Kealy, said: "We understand this will be a worrying time for parents, but I would like to reassure them that we have made the decision to give antibiotics to a wide group of children as a precautionary measure."