Asbestos in schools- is it a danger?



The effects of asbestos are well known and it has been highlighted that students and school employees face significant health risks from asbestos found in schools. A recent report found that up to 86% of schools contain asbestos and predicted that almost 400 students will die every year from lung cancer after being exposed to the substance whilst at school. Despite these obvious dangers, schools are not required to tell parents if asbestos is present in their buildings. Government reports have also found that one-fifth of schools were deemed to be “not fully compliant” with mandatory asbestos procedures.

The government has stated that it has invested £5.6bn in the maintenance of school buildings since 2015. Pete Middleman of the National Education Union stated that it would take “13 billion to get schools up to a satisfactory standard without removing asbestos, and it’ll cost a lot more to do it properly but we think that’s a price worth paying”. One of the ways the government is trying to counteract the prevalence of asbestos in schools is the Asbestos Management Assurance Process (AMAP) – a scheme focusing on asbestos monitoring in schools where responsible bodies submit assurance declarations about compliance with asbestos regulations. Although this is an innovative initiative to ensure student and teacher safety within schools, asbestos is still a significant issue that needs to be tackled not only for the possible health risks but for the parents’ peace of mind.

REC – an independent UK environmental and risk management consultancy – has over 20 years’ experience in surveying and managing the removal of asbestos in buildings. The company has worked with a wide range of public and private sector clients including schools, colleges and universities. Because REC is not linked to any asbestos removal contractors, our consultations are free of bias and purely informative. We also have expert surveyor and analyst teams all over the UK which means that regardless of where you are located, we can respond quickly and efficiently.

If you need asbestos surveys or advice on asbestos in buildings then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our asbestos team.