The source, who did not want to be named over fears for his job, claimed that council chiefs took a risk by allowing workers to remove asbestos in Kincaidston Primary School while pupils were in class throughout last week.

South Ayrshire Council have denied that the children were put at risk, claiming that work was carried out in a 'segregated area'.

Prolonged asbestos inhalation can cause serious illnesses including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.

Despite the council's reassurance, our source described the timing of the work as 'very unusual' and insisted that there was a risk to the pupils.

He said: "It's very unusual for workers to be in a school removing Asbestos when the kids are in session. It's the first time I've seen this happen.

"It's inside the school and there will be a lot of dust - it's a real risk.

"The guys will double bag it but a bag can rip. This is very toxic stuff and it's being removed while the kids are in school - that's unbelievable." Donald Gillies, head of corporate resources for South Ayrshire Council moved to reassure worried parents, claiming that the work was being carried out a safe distance away from the kids.

He said: "The safety of children and staff within our schools is very important to us and we would never put them at risk.

"The asbestos is in a low risk location and is being removed from the school as planned refurbishment work. This work is being undertaken by a licensed contractor, under controlled conditions and away from areas where the children are. The children are fully segregated all at one end of the school and the work is being carried out in a sealed area at the other end of the school." Mr Gillies said that the work was being carried out to improve the learning experience, adding: "This work is part of our ongoing commitment to maintain our school estate and provide a learning environment to meet the needs of our pupils."