Parents are worried about sending their children to a Fife school where parts will be without hot water for a fortnight.
Regular hand washing is among a raft of measures schools across the country have introduced to prevent the spread of coronavirus among pupils and staff.
At Lochgelly High School only cold water will be available in some areas alongside soap and hand sanitisers, as a water quality issue was encountered during risk assessment of the building.
In a letter issued to parents, head teacher Debbie Aitken said: “The PE block will not be in use and the school will have no hot water for the first two weeks.
“Our young people will be able to wash their hands with cold water and soap and as an extra precaution there will be hand sanitiser available throughout the school.”
Although staff were sent home as a precaution when the issue was discovered on Monday, she said further assessment gave assurance pupils could return as planned from Wednesday.
Scottish Government advice does not specify whether cold or hot water should be used for hand washing and some sources say cold water is just effective, but parents voiced anxiety on social media.
Worries for pupils
Andrew Kirk, whose sister is a pupil, said: “The kids have been off for a long time but I just think to ensure maximum safety for everyone then they should shut until the water problems are resolved.”
Donna McCall said: “Not sure how I feel about this. Not one to overreact but surely it’s not right them washing their hands in cold water?”
Brenda Pow said: “They shouldn’t open unless they are fully operational and safe and at the moment it is not.”
Shelagh McLean, Fife Council’s head of education and children’s services, said tests on Monday uncovered an issue which needed to be confirmed and resolved.
She said: “As a precaution staff were asked to work from home until the situation was clarified. Further risk assessments were carried out and we are now assured that the school can reopen as planned to pupils and staff on Wednesday.
“As previously planned, the PE block will not be in use due to scheduled works taking place there.
“Some parts of the school will have no hot water for the first two weeks, but in these areas pupils will be able to wash their hands with cold water and soap, and as an extra precaution will be asked to use hand sanitiser also, which will be available throughout the school. This follows accepted national guidance.
“Hot water will be available in the other parts of the school and cleaners will have access to hot water to ensure that the cleaning protocols are maintained.
“Toilets will function as normal.”
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