Schools: Asbestos

Department for Education written question – answered on 29th March 2017.

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Photo of Rachel Reeves Rachel Reeves Labour, Leeds West

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the accuracy of information provided by (a) schools, (b) local authorities and (c) academy trusts in response to freedom of information requests related to asbestos exposure.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Department takes the issue of asbestos in schools very seriously. We have recently updated and improved our published guidance for schools, which clearly states that if accidental exposure to asbestos has occurred, the duty holder must inform the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE may investigate if major issues are raised where a duty holder’s compliance with their legal duties is called into question.

We also recently carried out a data collection in schools on how they manage asbestos to understand how they were complying with their duties, and have published the findings. We plan to seek further assurances from duty holders to ensure that asbestos management is compliant with legislation and guidance across their education estates.

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