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Academies: Asbestos

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

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Photo of Laura Smith Laura Smith Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to bring forward legislation requiring academies to have an asbestos management plan that is audited annually; 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 responsibility of the duty holder 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.

The Department launched the Asbestos Management Assurance Process on 1 March 2018. This process will enable Responsible Bodies to provide an assurance declaration that their schools are complying with the regulations. The process was developed to help the Department to improve its understanding of asbestos management in schools. Through working with the HSE, the Department can help local authorities, governing bodies and academy trusts to manage asbestos-related issues effectively.

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