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'Urgent Action Needed On School Asbestos'

Thursday, July 13, 2017



Asbestos has been there for years, posing a danger while successive governments have dilly-dallied.

GMB, the union for school staff, has backed a call by MP Rachel Reeves for urgent Government action on asbestos.

The member for Leeds West claims the lives of children and staff are being put at risk by a lack of action to remove the potentially deadly substance from schools.

In a blog on the GMB website [1], Rachel Reeves wrote:

“It could not be any clearer now that there is an undeniable problem with asbestos in schools.

“It’s not going to simply disappear, the lives of staff, pupils and others are being put at risk and so why is the Government continuing to ignore this issue?

“Alongside a phased removal, we need centrally funded, mandatory audits in every school built before 1999, with results published or at least stored centrally.

“The Government’s complacent attitude is entirely wrong. Their red tape is another person’s crucial protections.“

The evidence is there. It now needs to be acted on."

Dan Shears, GMB National Officer For Health And Safety, said:

“GMB wholeheartedly backs Rachel Reeves’ call for urgent action on asbestos in Schools.

“This is not a new problem - the asbestos has been there for years.

"The idea that asbestos is safe if encapsulated denies the reality of years of damage by both pupils and staff.

"It has posed a danger for decades, whilst governments have crossed fingers and hoped for the best.

“We can no longer sit idle while the lives of our children - and our school staff members - are put at risk.

"We need a phased removal programme to commence as soon as possible."


Contact: GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at

Notes to editors

[1] Are our school buildings safe under the Tories? - Rachel Reeves MP

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