A HEAD teacher has written to parents to reassure them after higher than usual levels of a radioactive gas were found at a school.

Five readings of radon above recommended levels were discovered during routine monitoring at Bingley Grammar School.

The school was also given estimated readings for winter, when radon levels naturally rise, and there were 13 winter estimates above the recommended level.

It is one of six schools - including Trinity and All Saints Primary, Myrtle Park Primary, Oakworth Primary, Wilsden Primary and Priestthorpe Primary - that potentially need remediation measures.

A spokesman for Bradford Council said the district was considered a low risk area for radon and Oakworth, Priestthorpe and Wilsden schools actually had no readings above the recommended levels, but because they had a winter estimate above the recommended level it was agreed further investigations would be carried out.

He added: "The safety of pupils and staff at the school is our main priority and the experts have informed us that there is no immediate danger from radon exposure at Bingley Grammar School after testing the whole of the site in line with recognised procedures."

Head teacher Luke Weston's letter to parents said: "The school will continue to monitor these levels in association with Bradford Council to identify the best method to reduce the levels if this is so required. Where readings are above recommended levels we will have minor building alterations carried out to reduce the radon levels appropriately."

The letter, sent by email to parents and carers yesterday, explained that radon is a naturally occurring gas and present in all parts of the UK.

It said that for most people, radon accounted for about half of their total annual radiation dose.

But Mr Weston said people should not be unduly worried about the situation at the school in Keighley Road, Bingley.

"We understand you may be concerned that some radon levels are above the level recommended by the Department of Health, however after seeking expert advice we have been assured that the risks are extremely low," his letter said.

"Due to the extremely low level of risk, and in line with the expert advice received, we will continue to operate the school as normal but we will ensure that if any minor remedial work is required it does not impact on the education of our students."

A specialist contractor will assess what specific work needs to be done to get the levels down straight away and with minimal disruption to the school.