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Asbestos in Schools
Asbestos Management at non-LEA Schools
- Major Concerns -
HSE and LACORS belatedly recognise the asbestos management problem in non-LEA schools and make improvement a top priority in 2010.
(8 Jan 2010)
Major Concerns about Asbestos Management at Non Local Authority Schools
Paul Rowen, MP for Rochdale, has welcomed the news that a planning document prepared by Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has made asbestos management in non-Local Education Authority (LEA) Schools a priority for action in 2010.
This follows on from a joint Department for Schools, Children and Families (DCSF) and HSE questionnaire on asbestos management. This report highlighted the following areas where management needed to be strengthened:
The summary of responses that the HSE gave to Paul Rowen and other asbestos campaigners mentions 155 local authorities and makes no mention of the 95 replies expected from diocese and schools outside local authority control. On questioning, DCSF admitted that they had only received a handful of responses from this group. It also appeared that the questionnaire did not obtain information on the 10% of schools that are independent in England.
Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions Shadow Minister Paul Rowen, himself a former Deputy Headteacher at an RC secondary school said: “Six years ago tackling asbestos management in non LA schools was dropped by the HSE due to budget constraints.
The survey conducted by DSCF last year backed up concerns which I and other asbestos campaigners, including all the teachers and support staff unions, had about the state of asbestos management in many of our schools.
This is a belated recognition by LACORS and HSE that a step change in attitudes is needed. It is a start but a case of too little possibly too late.”