Unions back report findings on schools

A number of unions has welcomed an audit report that points to serious mismanagement of asbestos in Britain’s schools.

The report, based on the findings of a pilot study of 12 schools by the Asbestos Training and Consultancy Association (ATAC), argues that schools are failing to comply with their legal duty to manage asbestos, and claims that training on asbestos in schools is poor to non-existent.

According to the ATAC, its assessment revealed a lack of clarity between local authorities and schools over who is legally the duty-holder responsible for managing asbestos. The organisation also described some of the asbestos surveys the schools had carried out as “superficial”, because they had failed to look in places most likely to contain the most dangerous form of asbestos, or failed to record that less accessible places had been investigated.