SWINDON Council is trying to quell parents’ fears as it installs microwave antennae at a number of schools.

The equipment uses wi-fi internet signals using microwave radiation, similar to that used by mobile phones.

One campaign group has written to the council claiming they can be dangerous.

And the head of one school affected told the Adver she knew nothing of the plans, until she was contacted by a worried father.

Chris Watts, 44, of Dunsford Close, has children at Robert Le Kyng Primary School aged six and eight.

Mr Watts, a prospective Labour councillor, said: “As a parent, I’m quite shocked the council hasn’t informed the head teacher or governors. I spoke to the head teacher and I thought: if she’s happy with it, I’m happy with it.

“But she didn’t have a clue.You’d think if you were going to install a microwave antenna, you’d inform the head teacher so they could answer any concerns of the school parents.”

The council said it had emailed all schools affected.

But Maran White, headteacher at Robert Le Kyng primary school, said: “The first I heard about this was from Mr Watts. I want to discuss exactly what the safety implications are and where it’s placed to make sure there’s no risk.

“Everything I’ve been shown says it meets the safety requirements, but I just want to know more so I can totally reassure parents and be confident there’s no long term harm.

“And if there are alternatives which have no possible risk I’d rather go with that.”

She has a meeting tomorrow afternoon with planners to discuss the matter.

The antenna is to be installed at a neighbouring children’s centre. The antennae are to allow children’s centres to connect to the council’s internal intranet system, and a number of secondary schools have them.

Campaign group the EM Radiation Research Trust has emailed Swindon Council’s health scrutiny committee objecting to the plans.

Director Eileen O’Connor said: “Many doctors and scientists worldwide believe there is a very real and significant risk to the general health of the public, wildlife and the environment.

“The sight of the mast when viewed from the schools and neighbouring properties will act as a constant reminder of the potential health threat.

“Perceived health concerns related to masts create anxiety levels that are in themselves unhealthy and detrimental to the well-being of the local community.”

But regulator Ofcom and the council told the Adver the equipment was safe.

A council spokesman said: “The strength of the signal is strongest in the direction of the main beam of the antennae, but because the antennae are mounted on masts several metres from the ground there is no risk to people. Unless you are standing right in front of where the beam is pointing there is absolutely no risk.”

Coun David Renard, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The council wouldn’t be doing this if there were any safety implications. The advice from the World Heath Organisation is clear: what’s being implemented isn’t a danger to public health.

“I’ve got children in Swindon schools myself, and one of these dishes is on their school, so I’ve got a vested interest in this.

“These are to support council staff to enable them to do things more efficiently. It’s for everyone’s benefit.”