A CASE of Covid-19 at an area school was detected last week as parents and teachers try to reassure pupils they are safe.

Our Lady and St Patrick’s High was confirmed to have a case of the coronavirus and the NHS said contact tracing had been carried out.

But a parent at the school said their daughter was “terrified” after seeing many fellow youngsters without masks and reports of sanitising gel running out.

Council officials said supplies are refilled weekly and all pupils are wearing masks except those with medical exemptions.

A parent who contacted the Reporter last week, before the announcement of a Covid-19 infection at OLSP, said their daughter reported quite a few youngsters were not wearing masks and would ignore teachers who told them to put them on.

The parent said: “They’re meant to gel their hands on the way in, and hardly any of them do and there’s never a teacher there to make sure. And sometimes when she goes to gel the machine is empty or not working.

“She says some of the teachers are saying they’re running out of gel and stuff to make sure the tables and chairs and equipment is cleaned.

“This is outrageous. The schools have been shut since April so there’s been more than enough time to make sure they’ve got plenty of supplies.”

The parent, who asked not to be named, added: “The council needs to get these things sorted urgently.

“She says some teachers are great at trying to make them feel safe and are doing their best. But if they’re running out of cleaning stuff how can they do that?

“My daughter was desperate to be back in school but she’s terrified of Covid.”

NHS officials last week said there was no evidence of transmission of the virus within the school.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the return to classrooms was not to blame for the rising cases in West Dunbartonshire, but on households mixing.

Jim Halfpenny, joint convenor of the West Dunbartonshire branch of the EIS union, told the Reporter they continue to have concerns for the safety of teaching staff in classrooms where social distancing is harder and masks not required.

He said: “Parents are rightly concerned that their child may contract the virus and bring it home.

“Class sizes must be lowered to improve social distancing in schools.

“Introduce a programme of blended learning to keep pupils and staff safe. All pupils should not be in school at the same time.

“Track and trace is not sufficient. Invest in urgent testing resources for schools and society generally.

“If we begin to lose control of this virus in schools, teachers and support staff may not be prepared to work under those conditions.”

A spokeswoman for West Dunbartonshire Council said the head teacher was happy to speak to any parents or carers seeking reassurance over the “stringent” measures in place.

She said: “Pupils arriving at school are met by senior staff and reminded of their responsibilities to keep themselves and their friends safe.

“Face masks are being worn by pupils except by students who have medical exemption. Supplies of gel are checked regularly and replenished weekly.

“Tannoy announcements, reminders from class teachers and ongoing publicity via the school’s social media reminds pupils to follow guidelines.”