Two Bradford schools given improvement notices to comply with asbestos regulations

Two Bradford schools given improvement notices to comply with asbestos regulations

Two Bradford schools given improvement notices to comply with asbestos regulations

First published in News

TWO Bradford schools were given improvement notices by the Health and Safety executive for failing to comply with asbestos regulations.

But the schools, both free from Council control, say they have since complied with the rules, and that no serious asbestos problems have been found.

The Health and Safety Executive visited 153 non council controlled schools around the country over several months as part of study to see how aware they were of asbestos regulations. Forty four were given written advice, and enforcement action was taken against 20 of these schools, including Dixons Trinity Academy and Netherleigh and Rossefield School in Bradford. Both were given improvement notices - Netherleigh and Rossefield, which is an independent primary school, for having no asbestos survey, and Dixons Trinity Academy, a free school, for having no asbestos survey or asbestos management plan.

Ryecroft Primary School, Fulneck School in Pudsey and Malsis School in Keighley were also inspected, and found to be complying with regulations.

Independent schools, free schools and academies are free from council control, and so responsible for their own health and safety procedures.

A spokesman for Dixons Trinity Academy said the inspection had taken place some time ago, adding: "We took up the building in September 2013 and no asbestos concerns had been raised during construction. In December we had contact with the HSE and under their guidance carried out a full asbestos survey.

"In common with other buildings of this age, there was a limited amount of asbestos present in limited access areas. We now have a full management plan in place and this includes training for relevant staff."

Mary Midgley, head of Netherleigh and Rossefield School said the school, said the school has since had a survey, and no asbestos was found.

Teaching unions have raised concerns about the number of schools that needed to be warned about asbestos management. Ian Murch, Bradford spokesman of the National Union of Teachers, said: "A large organisation like a council has a dedicated asbestos unit whose job it is to know the location of asbestos and how to work around it in a way that doesn't release fibres. When that responsibility falls to an individual school they may lose sight of the issue."

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said: “These results are yet another example of where increased ‘freedoms' and fragmentation of the system lead to important statutory and good practice provisions being ignored.

“It is alarming and disturbing that nearly a third of schools were either given written advice or served with an improvement notice regarding deficiencies in their asbestos management."

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