A troubled north school has been shut down for an urgent “deep clean” after staff suffered flu symptoms and rashes which may be linked to the water system.
Pupils were told to stay away from Ben Wyvis Primary in Conon Bridge after several people became unwell.
Highland Council said the closure was a precautionary measure to check if recent maintenance work on the building’s cold water system could be to blame.
The deep clean will involve checking if dust from insulation materials has contaminated the supply.
Councillor Alister Mackinnon’s daughter was a pupil at the school until the summer and he has been a fierce critic of the school’s previous problems.
He said: “I’m obviously disappointed once again to find the school is closed.
“The safety of the pupils and staff is of paramount importance and closing the school temporarily is the only decision that could have been taken to allow this deep clean to go ahead.”
Fellow Dingwall and Seaforth councillor Graham Mackenzie, a former high school head teacher, added: “I think the head teacher has made a right step and the only sensible decision.
“You can’t take any risks with the health and safety of pupils or the staff.
“I know there has been some difficulties with the school’s water system and there was some remedial work carried out, whether this is allergic reactions to something that has happened there I don’t know.
“Closing the school is a sensible precaution and then we can get on with working out what has happened.”
The £9.3million building, which is home to the merged former Conon Bridge and Maryburgh primaries, has had a troubled history since it belatedly opened to pupils in October 2012.
It currently has a roll of 253 pupils, while the nursery has 30 youngsters.
In October, senior council figures, including chief executive Steve Barron, apologised for a string of failures identified in an internal audit of the project.
It had an £862,000 overspend and there were also a number of technical problems and complaints from parents about poor workmanship.
The audit also found not enough attention was paid to ensuring that work was up to standard, two structural engineers were appointed without being subject to formal tendering and councillors were denied progress reports.
The school’s kitchen was also closed in April after pest controllers found rats had chewed through bags of food in a store cupboard.
A Highland Council spokeswoman said: “The school is closed today as a precautionary measure, to allow a deep clean to take place.
“Some staff have had flu and rash symptoms.
“Although this may not be unusual, the council wishes to ensure that it is not related to recent works that have taken place.
“These works involved maintenance of the cold water system, and to ensure that no dust from insulation materials has been released, there will be checks and a deep clean of the school over the weekend.”