12 March 2015
Commenting on the publication of The management of asbestos in schools. A review of Department of Education policy, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“Following sustained pressure from the NUT and other education unions, the Government has finally published the findings of its review of asbestos policy in schools. The report is a step in the right direction, but no more. Better training and guidance is of course welcome, as is the focus on transparency and accountability of duty holders.
‘However, the report comprehensively fails to set out a long-term strategy for phased removal of asbestos from our schools. There is no change to the overall view that schools are low risk, despite the report highlighting that between 2003 and 2012, 224 teachers died of mesothelioma. It is astonishing that there is also no mention that inevitably some adults are dying as a result of childhood exposure at school.
‘In the run up to the General Election the NUT will be challenging the political parties to set out how they intend to deal with this problem, and holding them to account in the future.”