Half of Barking and Dagenham schools contain asbestos

31 schools are known to contain asbestos (Pic: PA)

31 schools are known to contain asbestos (Pic: PA) - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

More than half of the borough’s schools contain asbestos.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by the Post revealed 31 of the borough’s 61 schools are known to contain the fibres, including 24 primary, infant and junior schools.

A spokesman from the council’s FOI team said all asbestos is considered a risk but it can be left and monitored on a six-monthly or yearly basis.

The council confirmed it has six-monthly and yearly checks on the all the schools and an asbestos awareness training programme is in place for staff.

A total of seven comprehensive schools are known to contain asbestos as well as the borough’s only special school, Trinity.

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Dominic Byrne, NUT division secretary for Barking and Dagenham, said: “Asbestos is a major concern, so it’s important that it’s managed properly, and if work is going on it can be sealed and not disturbed – or properly removed.

“Records need to be kept. If someone gets ill later in life people will need to know if they ever came into contact with it.”

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A council spokesman said a written report is kept on-site identifying the type of asbestos and exact location, and includes a risk assessment and a detailed management action plan.

He added: “Barking and Dagenham takes the safety and welfare of its children and young people very seriously and this is reflected in the way risks are managed especially in relation to the presence of asbestos in all of our buildings.”

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