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Solution to Management of Asbestos in Schools

(Part of "Asbestos Policy Suggested Improvements")

Successful management of asbestos in schools relies on openness and participation by parents and teachers in monitoring performance and ensuring best practice. I would like your assistance please to achieve the following in the immediate future:

  • Reinstatement of the campaign to improve the asbestos management in schools – Exactly as initially proposed by HSE.
  • The asbestos guidance for schools to be urgently updated. (As the Minister advocated)
  • An official estimate to be given for the number of children dying and predicted to die as a result of asbestos exposure at school.

In addition I would ask that you lobby for:

  • A duty be placed on schools to annually publish asbestos management plans.
  • The law to be changed so that parents of children in independent schools have the same legal right as those in state schools to see the asbestos management plans of their children’s schools. As this might take time, in the interim, I would ask that the Government puts pressure on independent schools to allow parents access to their plans.
  • All schools to be assessed for their asbestos risks. Statistics and data to be centrally collated
    Asbestos to be the driving priority for refurbishing or rebuilding schools in the Building Schools for the Future Initiative. So that schools with the worst asbestos problem are given the greatest priority.
  • All asbestos to be removed from schools being refurbished under the BSF initiative.

None of these proposals are difficult to implement, and each one of them requires limited input and resources from the HSE and DfES. All can be done rapidly.

As a result of these proposals facts will be available that will show the extent of exposures in schools, and whether effective asbestos management systems are in place. The correct proportional response can then be given. Resources can then be allocated and measures taken to ensure that all schools have effective asbestos management plans.

Only then will the Government’s original target for the campaign be achieved:

“A dramatic reduction in the asbestos exposure of staff and children in schools.”



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