A long-delayed report into the presence of asbestos in schools was finally published on 12 March, after “sustained pressure” from education unions. Hundreds of teachers and other education staff have died of asbestos related diseases since 2003, the Department for Education report found.
Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum chair Doug Jewell said the report was “only one step on a long journey.” He said: “The findings of this review need to be built on and most importantly we need long term strategic policies that will eradicate asbestos from our schools.”
The publication of the review came days after the Asbestos in Schools campaign revealed its freedom of information requests had established up to 86 per cent of UK schools contain asbestos. The group estimated that between 200 and 300 people could die each year as a consequence of their asbestos exposure as a child at school in the 1960s and 1970s.