Teachers are concerned about the high levels of asbestos in the country’s schools and want it removed, according to a new survey.
The National Union of Teachers (NUT) found that teachers and other school staff were often not being told whether their school contains asbestos.
This could mean that staff and pupils are at risk of asbestos exposure.
Majority of schools contain asbestos
Nearly half of all teachers hadn’t been told whether their school contained asbestos. It’s thought that 86% do actually contain asbestos.
Of those who’d been informed their school contained asbestos, half hadn’t been told where it was located. Staff need to know where it is so they can prevent disturbing it.
Nearly 75% said the asbestos was located in accessible locations, like the floors, ceilings and window frames, which could be disturbed by school children’s boisterous behaviour.
Three quarters said staff hadn’t been given asbestos awareness training and just 2% said parents had been informed about the presence of asbestos.
Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, said: “This survey reveals an appalling state of affairs in our schools. It certainly serves to strengthen our case for the Government to commit to a long-term strategy for the phased removal of asbestos from all our schools.
“Parents need to be reassured that asbestos is being safely managed in their child’s school, something we clearly cannot be confident of at the moment.
“The presence of asbestos in our schools is putting children and school staff at risk of developing mesothelioma, an incurable cancer caused by exposure. The Government’s casual approach to the health of staff and children in our schools is totally unacceptable and needs to stop.”
Source: National Union of Teachers
Date Published: May 4, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown