Schools: Asbestos

Department for Education written question – answered on 17th October 2018.

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Photo of Meg Hillier Meg Hillier Chair, Public Accounts Committee, Chair, Public Accounts Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to assess the presence of asbestos in schools which did not respond to the recent Asbestos Management Assurance Process request.

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, in line with the Control of Asbestos Regulations (2012). The Department has taken significant steps in recent years to strengthen schools’ approach to managing asbestos, including publishing refreshed guidance for schools in 2017 and launching the Asbestos Management Assurance Process earlier this year.

The response has been positive. The Department is, however, writing to schools and responsible bodies that did not participate in the assurance process to set out their legal duties and ask them to confirm that asbestos management plans are in place, where required.

The Department is also working closely with the Health and Safety Executive, which as the regulator, is empowered to take action where they feel that it is necessary.

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