LEGIONELLA bacteria has been discovered in the water supply to part of Ardrossan Academy.

A letter addressed to parents sent by the school and North Ayrshire Council has confirmed the bacteria was discovered during planned maintenance to the school's water supply and detected only in the water system that serves A and B block.

The discovery comes less than a month after pupils raised concerns over water discolouration in a home economics classroom within this same B block.

READ MORE: Ardrossan Academy pupils fears over water discolouration

The school's other buildings - the main building, the PE block and canteen - remain unaffected by the issue.

As a result, pupils were sent home from the school during the afternoon today (Tuesday, May 21.)

The history exam which was taking place in the main building was unaffected by this.

After being notified of the initial "water issue", an update was later provided to parents explaining the school will be able to open, with adjustments made, from Wednesday, May 22.

Pupils currently attending Ardrossan Academy on their new second, third and fourth year timetables will temporarily be relocated to various classrooms across the school's unaffected other buildings.

And, following the completion of remediation works to the RAAC panels that the school had in the PE building, remaining SQA exams will be relocated to the school's small gym hall.

Study leave for pupils sitting SQA exams has now been extended until Friday, June 7, while the legionella bacteria issue is addressed.

The water systems in the affected areas will now undergo a full clean, flush and disinfect immediately and follow-up assurance samples will be taken.

Ardrossan Academy headteacher Anne Anderson said: “As parents and carers would expect, the wellbeing of our young people and staff must come first.

“While the temporary closure is disappointing, we are aiming to ensure the closure doesn’t impact on the pupils, particularly during this important exam period.”

Councillor Shaun Macaulay, Cabinet Member for Education and Young People, added: “This is unfortunate but shows the importance of having a rigorous testing regime in place for our water supplies.

“The issue was flagged up quickly and action is already being taken to disinfect and clean the system.

“The safety of our pupils and staff is our priority, and while the chances of contracting legionella are incredibly small, it isn’t a risk we are prepared to take.”

Parents will be kept fully informed with updates issued directly from the school.