Five schoolchildren have fallen ill and two have been taken to hospital after a “concerning situation” at a school hostel which led to a warning about ingesting an “unknown substance”.

The five young people became ill on Wednesday at the Papdale Halls of Residence, a hostel for students from the North and South Isles who attend Kirkwall Grammar School.

Police investigating the circumstances have said that the conditions of the young people are “not causing concern at this time”.

NHS Orkney and Orkney Islands Council are helping police with their investigation and have issued a warning to parents and carers, urging them to ask their children about “a clear capsule that may contain a brown or other coloured liquid”.

In a Facebook post, Orkney Islands Council wrote: “We are asking for parental support to assist in dealing with this situation and want to stress that this is not about punishment, this is about the health and wellbeing of our young people at this time.

“We are appealing for parents and carers to ask their children if they have in their possession an unknown substance, in particular a clear capsule that may contain a brown or other coloured liquid.

“It is important that anyone with such a capsule, hands it over to their parents, the school, an appropriate adult or the police and not to ingest it.

“It’s vital that we all work together to ensure our young people are made aware of the potential dangers of taking substances that they are not familiar with.

“We will be working with the Police, NHS Orkney and the Orkney Drugs Dog charity to further educate and engage with students throughout Orkney schools about the dangers of substance misuse.

“We would really appreciate any assistance parents and carers can provide.

“Our grateful thanks are extended to the staff at the Papdale Halls of Residence who dealt with the incident swiftly and professionally ensuring the young people concerned received the medical attention and support required.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Police Scotland officers are liaising with NHS Orkney and Orkney Islands Council after five pupils took unwell at the Papdale Halls of Residence in Kirkwall yesterday, Wednesday, 26 January 2022.

“Two young people remain in hospital however medical staff have said their conditions are not causing concern at this time.

“A joint investigation is ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident and enquiries are ongoing.”