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‘Immediate’ review ordered into ‘blue water’ school campus

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The campus is shared by two schools – St Ambrose High and Buchanan High

An immediate review is to be carried out into health and safety concerns at two schools in Coatbridge following reports of blue water.

The Scottish government said the move was aimed at “assuring parents, pupils and staff that the shared Buchanan High and St Ambrose High campus is safe”.

The site was previously used to store industrial waste including lead and arsenic.

Concerns have been raised about possible contamination at the site.

North Lanarkshire Council and NHS Lanarkshire say there is no evidence of any serious illness linked to the schools or campus.

But at a public meeting earlier this month, a health official was booed and met with cries of “liar” as he said that there was “no significant risk to health” from attending the schools.

The NASUWT union later announced that the 12 staff members it represents at Buchanan High will go on strike next week over the concerns, which centre on “blue water” that is reported to have been seen coming from pipes.

The Scottish government said it would now begin an “immediate, independent and impartial review” of the concerns that have been raised.

It said the review, which was agreed with the council and health board, would be completed before the next school year begins in August,

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the council and NHS Lanarkshire had already done “extensive work” in an effort to address the concerns of the local community.

He added: “However in light of continuing concerns being raised, ministers have agreed with North Lanarkshire Council and NHS Lanarkshire to immediately commission an impartial, independent review.

“This will assess existing evidence and determine if more needs to be done to further mitigate any concerns of pupils, their parents and staff and provide further reassurance to the local community.”

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