Nearly 90 per cent of schools contain asbestos and the government believes, in most cases, it is best to leave it in place and seek to manage it. The Joint Union Asbestos Committee (JUAC) believes this policy does not work, is irresponsible, and is leading to countless children and school staff members being exposed to asbestos on a regular basis.
In a recent case, a coroner concluded that a retired teacher, who died of mesothelioma, a cancer caused exclusively by exposure to asbestos, died from an industrial disease and that, on the balance of probability, she was exposed to asbestos during her time as a teacher.
Following a number of recent school inspections, Freedom of Information requests and subsequent high-profile media coverage, it has come to our attention that a great many schools, across the country, still have no or have inadequate 'Asbestos Management Plans'.
To support our members and respond to these recent high-profile activities, NAHT has produced some straightforward advice and guidance to ensure that you have everything in place to fulfil your statutory duties and satisfy the scrutiny of an asbestos audit. If you haven't got an Asbestos Management Plan in place or if you haven't reviewed your plan for some time, now is the time to consider acting on our advice, working alongside your employer and with the support of your School Business Manager, Bursar or the person to whom the management of the school's premises has been delegated.
In light of recent media activity, we would now urge members to read our advice and make suitable arrangements to ensure that an 'asbestos management plan' is established and that you can use our advice to develop the plan and take whatever action is needed to protect the school and all that use it, staff, pupils and visitors. Your employer is obliged to provide you with the support that you'll need to fulfil your responsibilities and get everything in place.
If you are in any doubt about how to proceed, please contact the Advice Centre on 0300 30 30 333 (option 1) and we can help guide you through what needs to be done and provide ongoing information, advice and guidance.
The asbestos management in schools document is below, available to logged in members of NAHT only.
Page Published: 13/12/2016