WASHING machines will be installed at a South Side primary school in a bid to end its four-year battle to beat bedbug infestations.

The two machines are part of an action plan drawn up by city council officials to help tackle the issue at St Bride’s Primary School, in Strathbungo, and will be used to boil wash clothes of children whose families do not have available facilities.

They are expected to be installed in the school by August at the latest.

COMMENT: Schools and pupils aren't to blame for Glasgow's bedbug problem - so who is?

The move comes as the Evening Times can reveal a staff member at the school was paid compensation by Glasgow City Council after suffering an outbreak of bedbug bites.

Exterminators have been called into the school on a regular basis since 2015, and it is feared further fortnightly visits may be required costing tens of thousands in total.

A document, seen by the Evening Times, minutes discussion surrounding a payout to a staff member at the Craigie Street school following repeated fumigations on the site in 2018.

READ MORE: Cockroach and bedbug alert for Glasgow teachers

It is understood the creatures spread to the staff member’s home, with part of the undisclosed sum of cash intended for the replacement of furniture.

Warnings about bedbugs and advice had been offered to parents at the school as early as 2015 but did not prevent an infestation at St Bride’s in 2018, with pest control experts dealing with the issue on at least three occasions throughout the year.

That problem was first raised with exterminators in March last year, with further visits in May and December.

So far in 2019, a further two decontamination procedures of the school have taken place, with two more pencilled in during the summer break.

Detailed in the document are suggestions that the school may need to be chemically treated every fortnight to tackle the problem, a process costing reportedly costing as much as £3,000 per visit, as well as a requirement for children to store coats in ziplock bags at school.

For all your breaking Glasgow news, click here, or head to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages

However, Glasgow City Council says this has not yet been carried out.

Following confirmation the staff member was compensated by the council earlier this year, it was claimed within the leaked document that all 40 staff members at the school were also affected, which the council disputes.

During the meeting, headteacher Helen Mulholland reportedly referenced the “mental and emotional stress” felt by her staff, saying more support was needed to tackle the problem.

It was also noted teaching staff were “working hard” to identify and aid those children affected by bedbug bites, helping families access public health services.

However, she added there was a concern “over workload as everyone is already beyond maximum capacity.

Union representatives said the council is responsible for the wellbeing of pupils and staff.

Susan Quinn, EIS Glasgow secretary, said the teacher’s union could not comment on individual cases, but that it is “clearly the responsibility of the authority to take all appropriate action to ensure a safe and appropriate ­working environment for pupils and staff in all schools”.

READ MORE: Govanhill bedbug complaints fall

Speaking earlier this year about pest control visits in Glasgow schools, Ms Quinn said it was “essential the matter is dealt with sensitively, with appropriate understanding and support for any pupils who may have been affected”.

Since the turn of the year, Glasgow City Council claims there have been no “active sightings” of bedbugs in the school.

An assessment carried out on the school shows the risk to those in the building to be “moderate”, with the potential for bites, skin irritation, infection, infestation, and stress and anxiety highlighted as dangers.

Glasgow City Council said it has been working in the surrounding areas of Strathbungo and Govanhill as a whole to halt the spread of bedbugs.

Before the incidents at St Bride’s Primary, two reports of the creatures were made by staff at Annette Street Primary, less than half a mile from Craigie Street, and within the annexe of Pollokshields Primary, also in the South Side. The schools are in the constituency of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

A council spokeswoman said: “Council services have been working extensively in Govanhill to deal with pest control issues, both responding to calls from the public and undertaking pro-active block-by-block treatment programmes.

READ MORE: Report says people living 'side by side' with cockroaches

“To get fully on top of this issue we all have a role to play, including the media and continue to ask for further cooperation from landlords and residents to ensure treatments are as effective as possible.

“Supporting our children and our staff are a top priority and while challenging for all, we are working with a number of agencies to do all that we can to put measures in place that will help the school manage the situation.”