An independent and impartial review of the evidence of the reported health and safety concerns at St Ambrose and Buchanan High School campus in Coatbridge, was ordered on 12 June by the Deputy First Minister John Swinney.
The review was to examine the history, construction and maintenance of the site. Communities have the right to expect that places of education, will be safe, healthy and supportive and allow children to thrive and achieve to the best of their abilities.
The school communities of Buchanan High and St Ambrose High have a growing reputation in the provision of a high quality academic and supportive community, across a wide range of needs and abilities.
In recent months, concerns have been raised about possible health risks arising from the previous use that the land on which the campus was built. Health concerns have arisen which – to many – are hard to understand and explain. Very visible signs that all is not well have been seen – blue water in the mains water supply in the school.
A cloud has hung over the school communities here in Coatbridge.
The public agencies involved (North Lanarkshire Council and NHS Lanarkshire) have sought to reassure parents, pupils and members of staff and the wider community about the reasons for this anxiety. They have acted throughout with the best interests of parents, members of staff and pupils at the heart of their actions. They have produced information designed to assure and re-assure.
This report sets out our conclusions and recommendations, for consideration by the public bodies responsible.
In the recommendations we make, we have listened to those involved to seek to establish the facts. We recommend further work by North Lanarkshire Council to restore confidence in them and these school sites.
We hope that our findings can help all the communities in Coatbridge to work together towards common goals in the interests of those at the heart of our communities – our children.