From the survey, nearly all respondents (96%) agreed that there should be a long-term Government strategy for the phased removal of all asbestos in schools by 2028.
Kevin Courtney, the general strategy of the NUT, said that the survey had uncovered “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,” he said.
“Parents need to be reassured that asbestos is being safely managed in their child’s school, something that we clearly cannot be confident in at the moment.”
The current national policy for managing asbestos in schools is for the material to be left in situ unless it becomes a problem. Even the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says that asbestos is “here, its endemic, it’s under control and if we monitor it it’s the safest policy.”
Removing all asbestos could cost billions of pounds, but many people believe a more rigorous approach should be taken to remove it, especially from our school buildings.
The NUT rightfully say that lives are at risk, and are calling for urgent action from the Government to change the national policy and strategy.
According to the NUT, 319 teachers have died from mesothelioma since 1980. It is estimated that for every teacher’s death, nine children will die from asbestos-related disease later in life, meaning that 100 people will die every year because of exposure when they were at school.