Commenting on the figures released by the DfE today in its asbestos management in schools data collection report, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:
“It is deeply concerning that 20% of those schools responding to the data collection were not fully compliant with regulations.
“It is shocking that 2% were sufficiently concerning for the DfE to follow up with the respective responsible body.
“Given this was a voluntary process with only 25% of schools responding, it is reasonable to assume that schools who know they are not compliant would be less likely to respond, therefore the true number who are failing to comply could be substantially higher, with hundreds of schools putting pupils and teachers at risk by failing to manage asbestos effectively.
“These results seriously call into question the DfE’s fundamental assumption that asbestos can be managed safely left in situ, as clearly this is not happening in too many cases.
“Asbestos is lethal. The only safe asbestos is removed asbestos. The DfE must bring forward proposals for the phased removal of all asbestos in schools without delay.”