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Schools: Asbestos

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL4064, tabled on 30 November 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they are giving to the risks posed by asbestos in schools and the safest ways to deal with those risks.

Answered on

4 December 2015

The Government takes the risks posed by asbestos in schools extremely seriously.

In March 2015, under the coalition government, the Department published a review of its policy on asbestos management in schools and the risks posed.

The department is led in its consideration of asbestos risks and the safest way to deal with these by the expert advice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). They advise that it is best to manage asbestos-containing materials in situ, reviewing their risk assessments by monitoring condition and likelihood of disturbance, and repairing or encapsulating as necessary. Removal may be needed where asbestos is damaged or when refurbishment work demands prior removal.

The department continues to take steps to understand the risks posed by asbestos in schools even better. As a result of the review the department has committed to collect data from schools about how they manage their asbestos and also to exploring ways to improve the evidence on the risk posed by asbestos in schools. In addition, the Asbestos in Schools Steering Group advises the department on some of the particular issues schools face in managing their asbestos.