Welsh local authorities told to report on asbestos in schools
The unexpected closure last Friday of a school in Caerphilly, owing to worries about asbestos levels, has prompted the Wales Education minister to seek confirmation from all local authorities in the principality that they are managing asbestos in schools in accordance with their legal duties.
Cwmcarn High School, which caters for more than 900 pupils, shut on 12 October after a structural report identified the presence of asbestos. The school is expected to reopen, in part, by the end of this week.
Local authorities and schools’ governing bodies in Wales have a legal responsibility to maintain up-to date records on the location and condition of asbestos-containing materials and a duty to ensure that appropriate management plans are in place to outline how the associated risks will be managed.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “In light of the current situation, the minister has asked his department to write to all local authorities in Wales to request confirmation that they are undertaking their statutory duties in accordance with current legislation, and asks that existing plans for the management of asbestos in schools are reviewed accordingly.” €
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