Contamination report reveals low risk at school

A report into 'contamination' at Mayfield School's playing field has shown it posed no danger pupils
A report into 'contamination' at Mayfield School's playing field has shown it posed no danger pupils
Charlie Dickie at the Havant Sixth Form campus of HSDC Picture: Habibur Rahman (171065-43)

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A REPORT into ‘contamination’ at a school playing field has shown that it posed no danger pupils.

The field at Mayfield School, North End, was closed in April after the discovery.

But the report, by Portsmouth City Council has revealed that only traces of lead, mercury, arsenite and asbestos were found and that they were normal for an urban area.

The report has been put on the school’s website so parents can read it.

The field was closed in April and reopened in June. The chemicals were detected in the east field while an extension was built. The report shows more than 50 samples were taken from a 30m by 30m area of the school’s east and west fields.

Headteacher David Jeapes said: ‘Following the closure of our east field in April, soil reports have now been completed and are available on our website for parents to see.

‘The level of risk has been deemed low and the field poses no risk to our pupils, staff or local community.

‘The nature and quantities of the contaminates found are in line with what you might expect to find in any urban area.

‘We are now working with officers from the council to identify what remedial action is required.

‘I would like to praise the council for its ongoing support and thank our pupils and staff for their understanding whilst the field is out of action. We are a large site, and have ample outdoor space for all to enjoy.’

Hundreds of letters were sent out to parents and local residents warning them to stay away, after soil samples showed contamination.

It was discovered as part of the development of an all-through school on the site, which opened in September.

Julien Kramer, interim head of education at the council, said: ‘Our investigations show that the low levels of contaminants found in the soil present no unacceptable risk to health. The level of risk presented in using the playing fields is low.

‘To mitigate any potential future risk, the council is assessing the options for remedial work and has commissioned a management report and will recommend a course of action for works to be undertaken.’