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Schools: Asbestos

Volume 459: debated on Thursday 3 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many school buildings in (a) England, (b) Greater London, (c) the London Borough of Havering and (d) Romford contain asbestos; and what steps are being taken (i) to remove the asbestos and (ii) to ensure the safety of students and staff. (134623)

We do not keep information on which schools contain asbestos. However, the Health and Safety Executive advise that asbestos was commonly used in buildings constructed between 1945 and 1980. It is a requirement that the duty-holder as defined in the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations keeps records of the location and condition of asbestos in all its buildings. For local authority maintained schools, the local authority as the employer is the duty-holder. The duty-holder is responsible for the safe management of asbestos. Removal is not a requirement and where the location and condition of the asbestos permits, it is often safer to manage the asbestos in-situ. HSE has issued guidance on the safe management and control of asbestos in schools1.