In the news: Asbestos in schools

The National Education Union raise concerns about the potential asbestos exposure in schools.

Research from the BBC reveals that just over half of schools in the North West of England are known to contain asbestos and that local authorities do not know if 44% of schools have the material or not; due to many schools outside LEA control including academies and free schools.

More shocking statistics reveal that more than 200 teachers have died across the country since 2001 from mesothelioma, a form of cancer associated with asbestos, according to the National Education Union.

Government research has also found that children who are exposed to asbestos are five times more likely to contract the disease than adults aged 30.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have however stated that, if properly managed, this presents a “very low risk” to people in school buildings. The Government have also invested £5.6bn in the maintenance of school buildings since 2015, which can be used to fund the removal of asbestos. “We expect all local authorities and academy trusts to have robust plans in place to safely manage asbestos in buildings, and provide detailed guidance for them on doing so,” a spokesman said.

If you are responsible for asbestos management within your school building/s and need advice on how to discharge your duties please contact [email protected].

You can see the full report at the BBC website.