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Academies: Asbestos

Department for Education written question – answered on 27th June 2018.

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Photo of Rachel Reeves Rachel Reeves Chair, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has assessed the asbestos management plans for academies for which Carillion was previously responsible; and if he will make a statement.

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

The Department takes the issue of asbestos in schools seriously and is committed to supporting schools, local authorities and academy trusts to fulfil their duty to manage asbestos safely.

It is the duty holder’s responsibility to ensure that any asbestos in their schools is safely managed in compliance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. For maintained schools, the duty holder is typically a governing body or local authority. For academies, the duty holder is typically an academy trust. Duty holders are already required to have an asbestos management plan in place where asbestos is present or is likely to be present. Management plans must be reviewed and revised at regular intervals, and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the relevant regulator.

On any occasions where Carillion has provided support services to schools, local authorities and academy trusts would have to continue to be the duty holder for asbestos management. Local authorities and trusts are responsible for their own support contracts. The Department contacted affected local authorities and academy trusts ahead of Carillion’s failure to ensure that they had appropriate contingency plans in place for services provided by Carillion. The Department is continuing to work with local authorities and trusts who still have contracts with Carillion to ensure that any disruption is minimised. The Government is supporting the Official Receiver so that services to schools can continue until alternative arrangements are put in place.

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