A PRIMARY school headteacher has moved to reassure parents after a national newspaper investigation found ‘toxic flakes of lead-filled paint’ scattered across the ground nearby.

The flakes were thought to have been left by workers called to scrape old paint off an electricity pylon near Huncoat Primary School in Lynwood Road.

By law, lead-based paint should be very carefully removed.

But the Sunday Mirror said that it believed the contractors left the flakes on the ground.

The paper carried out tests after being approached by a concerned farmer, and results showed dangerous levels of lead that could cause serious damage to health.

One angry parent, Jenny Frost, said: “My kids used to go to this school.

“The way these fat cats behave makes me sick. Why has the Environment Agency not stopped this? Surely it’s illegal.”

The headteacher Sean Crosier said tests had been carried out and said: "The first we heard about this issue was when we were contacted by a reporter from a national newspaper.

“We have not received any official notification.

"We certainly hadn't noticed anything amiss, and neither had anyone else connected the school.

"We contacted Lancashire County Council and one of their health and safety officers checked the area around the school but found nothing of any concern.

“They have offered to carry out a further check and in the meantime I'd like to reassure our parents that we're aware of the report and monitoring the situation.”

A spokesman for Electricity North West said they were ‘working with the Environment Agency following a specific complaint’.

And an Environment Agency spokesman added: “We are aware of the farmer’s concerns and are investigating.”

The Lancashire Telegraph columnist Dr Tom Smith said: “Lead is very poisonous, particularly for children.

”You can’t have lead flakes lying around because kids will pick them up and play with them, before sticking their fingers in the mouths.

“You only need a small amount to be poisoned.”