A school campus where parents had pulled their children from over health concerns has been deemed safe after an independent review.

St Ambrose High School and neighbouring Buchanan High, an additional support needs school, have been at the centre of health scrutiny after staff and pupils were warned not to drink the tap water after it turned blue.

The two schools sit on a former landfill site, which was used to dump hazardous industrial waste, including arsenic and lead.

But the review has now found there is no link between the school campus and illness.

It found that all water samples passed drinking water quality standards, and no landfill related gases have been detected.

READ MORE: Headteacher: 'blue water' school is safe and has not caused cancer

However, after taking 65 soil samples from both soft landscaped areas and raised beds, elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were found in one sample.

According to EPA, PCBs can cause a variety of adverse health effects for both humans and animals.

The review has advised North Lanarkshire Council completes a full and independently verified removal of the chemical as soon as possible.

If the work at that sample pit is being done by North Lanarkshire Council and independently verified to remove any residual risk or to otherwise render the area concerned safe, the review would support the schools opening next week.

Public health consultant Dr Margaret Hannah, who co-led the review, said: “Many people were concerned about possible health risks from the previous use of the campus site. We listened carefully to the concerns of parents and teachers and worked with various experts in their field to determine the areas to test within the campus.

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“Our principal finding is that the schools are safe, the site is safe and there is no link between the school and the reported health issues. However, we have made recommendations for some work to be carried out in order to provide further public reassurance.

“One of our recommendations includes convening a site recovery group to provide an open channel to share information and allow any concerns to be raised regarding the well-being of those on the campus. Working together is key to restoring public confidence and we hope our findings will help all the communities in Coatbridge and beyond work towards common goals and in the best interests of the pupils and staff.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “I am grateful to the Review Team for their work over the last two months. This has been a complex and challenging set of circumstances to review in such a short timescale.

“The report provides reassurance to parents, pupils and staff of the school that there are no links between ill-health and the campus.

“The review also finds, however, that North Lanarkshire Council and NHS Lanarkshire did not handle this issue at all well. They did not engage with parents sufficiently early or in an inclusive manner. The recommendations will ensure statutory bodies engage far more proactively with parents, staff and pupils to rebuild the trust and learn lessons from this for the future.

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“Children should enjoy school life and I hope this is the case for pupils at Buchanan and St Ambrose High Schools.”

Robert Steenson, executive director for enterprise and communities at North Lanarkshire Council, said: “We are pleased that the independent review agrees with the council’s position throughout, which is that the schools are safe and that there is no link between the schools and any serious illness. The review also finds that the council and NHS took the concerns of parents and staff seriously.

“We look forward to welcoming pupils back for the start of the term next week to what are outstanding, high-performing schools with enthusiastic and dedicated staff.”