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Asbestos in schools – call for strategic plan

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A strategic plan for asbestos removal and containment is necessary in order to manage asbestos in schools, according to not-for-profit campaign group, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

APIL made the call in its response to the Department for Education’s policy review on asbestos management in schools in England and Wales.

It also called for the reintroduction of proactive inspections and clarity about who is responsible for asbestos risk in academies, free schools, private schools and nurseries

Asbestos is present in 75% of schools in England and 85% of schools in Wales and there is no plan in place to deal with this, except to ignore the toxic substance and not disturb it, says APIL. Asbestos exposure is not a visible risk as asbestos fibres cannot be seen, and the effects of exposure do not develop until many years later.

“Children and those working in schools cannot be protected if the school is unaware of the location of the asbestos,” said Matthew Stockwell, president of APIL. “It is extremely important to locate the asbestos so the risks of exposure can be assessed regularly and managed, so a systematic plan for removal can be developed.”

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