NAHT would like to alert members to the existence of a new website that's intended to allow individuals to find out if their school contains asbestos, using data from the voluntary Asbestos Management Assurance Process (AMAP). This website has not been widely publicised, but it is open to all, and awareness and utilisation of the website may increase in the coming weeks.
Although the website is intended to provide information for individuals wishing to press the government and local MPs on the removal of asbestos from the school estate, the website could lead to some members being contacted by individuals who may be less well informed about the AMAP and the management of asbestos in schools.
While NAHT, as part of the Joint Union for Asbestos Campaign, is pressing for the phased removal of asbestos from schools, we do not support the development of such a website and are in no way affiliated to it. The website has not been through the scrutiny of JUAC, which provides our voice on these matters, and we feel the information provided is insufficient and inadvertently misleading.
We would direct members looking for guidance on asbestos management to our advice documents, which are available here. If you have a specific query relating to the website or asbestos management in general, then you can contact our specialist advice team on 0300 30 30 333.
Our press team is also available for support if required. You can contact them at Press.Office@naht.org.uk.
Asbestos Management Assurance Process (AMAP)
The Department for Education (DfE) launched the AMAP in March 2018 to enhance its understanding of the management of asbestos in schools; asking all local authorities, governing bodies and academy trusts to participate in to ensure plans are in place to safely manage asbestos.
The data collection has been ongoing since early 2018, and the DfE released a report outlining the main findings in July 2019. Alongside the report, the Department also released a spreadsheet to see which schools and responsible bodies participated in the AMAP. This spreadsheet is updated monthly to include any new schools and responsible bodies that have provided information.
NAHT's position on the AMAP
NAHT has been supportive of the Department undertaking the AMAP and agree it is an important exercise. It is critical that the Department has a clear picture of asbestos and it's management across the school estate, but we are clear that this should ultimately result in the phased removal of asbestos from the school estate.
While the Department has published a report, based on the information provided as of February 2019, schools and responsible bodies can still access the AMAP portal to do the following:
- Send information about their asbestos management practices
- Update information already submitted.
As such, NAHT would encourage all members to complete the AMAP if they have not already done so and/or if any of the information originally provided has altered.
First published 27 November 2019