Schools: Asbestos

Department for Education written question – answered at on 21 March 2024.

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Photo of Catherine McKinnell Catherine McKinnell Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 17 November 2023 to Question 22 on Schools: Asbestos, what information her Department holds on levels of asbestos in schools in the North East region.

Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds Minister of State (Education)

Well-maintained, safe school buildings are a priority for the department to support a high-quality education for all children. The department has allocated over £15 billion since 2015 for keeping schools safe and operational, including £1.8 billion in the 2023/24 financial year. In addition, the School Rebuilding Programme is transforming poor condition buildings at over 500 schools.

​​​It is the responsibility of those who run schools, such as academy trusts, local authorities and voluntary-aided school bodies, to manage the safety and maintenance of their buildings.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) regulates schools’ compliance with legislation to manage their asbestos safely. The department follows the HSE’s advice that, provided asbestos containing materials are in good condition, and unlikely to be disturbed, it is generally safest to manage them in place. Where asbestos containing materials are likely to be disturbed by maintenance works or daily use of the building, and cannot be easily protected, schools should have them removed.

The Asbestos Management Assurance Process (AMAP) was a survey launched by the department in March 2018 to understand the steps schools and those responsible for their estate were taking to manage asbestos. The data collected from this survey was published in 2019, and is accessible at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5f28153ed3bf7f1b17facda7/AMAP_Report_2019.pdf.

Information on how schools are managing asbestos is now being collected via the department’s Condition Data Collection 2 (CDC2) programme, which will complete in 2026, and is expected to cover all state-funded schools.

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