PUPILS at a Bishopbriggs primary school have been unable to wash their hands, according to concerned parents.

A number of parents described how their children attending Thomas Muir Primary School did not have access to a fresh water supply yesterday. 

It has emerged the pupils were using hand sanitiser as an alternative to antibacterial handwash as the school confirmed it is investigating a water issue.

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One parent who wished not to be named has demanded that the school takes immediate action.

He told the Glasgow Times: “I am shocked that during the current coronavirus crisis the school hasn’t sorted this problem. It’s a disgrace.

“I can’t believe pupils aren’t able to wash their hands. We are trying to stop the spread of the virus, this is just going to lead to more cases.

"Hand sanitiser is fine, but our kids should have water as well – we can’t be too careful.”

“This issue must be addressed immediately.”

East Dunbartonshire's Depute Chief Executive for education, Ann Davie, has since confirmed that the Bishopbriggs school reported an issue with water pressure on Monday.

She said that the school has followed its strict contingency plan - which includes the provision of hand sanitising products available in all classrooms.

She said: "Thomas Muir Primary School reported issues with water pressure in some areas of the school building today and officers from the Council's assets team have been on site to resolve these issues.

"During this time the Head Teacher implemented the school's contingency plan which includes the provision of hand sanitising products in all classrooms.

"Strict hygiene measures and enhanced cleaning procedures remain in place, to ensure pupils and school staff are kept as safe as possible."

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A spokeswoman from East Dunbartonshire Council said it was made aware of the issue yesterday, and that the pupils have had access to a fresh water supply, with only a few sinks out of action due to the ongoing issue.

The school previously closed in November after suffering from an outbreak of Norovirus on the premises.

Parents were issued with information and advice regarding the bug while they were advised to keep any child exhibiting symptoms home for 48 hours.

Meanwhile, Scotland's national clinical director has raised concerns with education bosses about pupils attending classes when they should be isolating after trips abroad. 

Jason Leitch has told directors of education at local authorities that this, plus parents gathering outside school gates, could contribute to the spread of coronavirus.

It comes less than a week after children returned to school in Scotland, with some cases of coronavirus having already been recorded among secondary school pupils.

Mr Leitch voiced his concerns as the First Minister pledged guidance on whether older pupils will be required to wear face coverings inside school will be kept under review.

Nicola Sturgeon, asked about the issue at the Scottish Government's coronavirus briefing on Monday, said the guidance produced ahead of schools reopening "makes clear if young people or staff in a school want to wear face coverings they should be supported and empowered to do that".

She added: "Whether we should go further and change the advice on face coverings is one of these aspects that we will keep under review."

Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the EIS teaching union, said recommendations for senior pupils to wear face coverings in areas where physical distancing is not possible is "important if schools are to operate safely".