The DfE have recently issued two very important documents relating to asbestos management in schools. As a result the Council is issuing further guidance to all schools to set out how the Council and schools need to operate to ensure compliance with the DfE guidance and the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
Headteachers and Governors need to be fully aware of the fundamentally important messages contained within the two DfE guidance documents and the Council's new guidance:
- DfE The Management of Asbestos in Schools March 2015
- DfE Asbestos Managament Guidance February 2017
- DfE Asbestos in Schools: Where it may be located Feb 2017 Guidance
- Derby City Council Schools Asbestos Guidance 2018
The Council’s guidance will help you to ensure compliance with the DfE guidance and asbestos regulations.
Ineffective management of asbestos presents a risk to staff and pupils. Between 2003 and 2012 there were 248 deaths linked to teaching and administration professions in schools, with maintenance staff expected to be at a greater risk. In addition children have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma compared to adults when exposed to asbestos. The DfE have identified a declining level of asbestos awareness in some schools and will now increase the level of scrutiny on schools and duty holders. Breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 are a criminal offence and are likely to result in prosecution.
All schools are advised to read the Council’s updated guidance attached above which will assist you in discharging your duties. This document sets out what actions schools must take to ensure compliance with asbestos regulations, including systems which need to be put in place and training which is required. This includes actions required of all schools, including Community, Foundation, Voluntary Aided and Voluntary Controlled schools, and schools buying a Council maintenance package, schools buying a Council compliance audit, or schools purchasing maintenance and professional advice from elsewhere.
Phil Derbyshire, Head of Design and Property Maintenance, Planning and Facilities Management, Neighbourhoods Directorate, telephone: 01332 640167, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gurmail Nizzer, Acting Director Commissioning, People Services Directorate, telephone: 01332 642720, email: email@example.com.