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Asbestos in Schools

Parliamentary Questions

Paul Rowen MP has asked 3 parliamentary questions on dealing with asbestos in the Building Schools for the Future Initiative. The questions are numbers 301091, 301092 and 302010. They were asked of the Secreatry of State for Children, Schools and Families

Ths script is below but can also be read on Hansard if you feed in the question numbers on the Hansard page


Paul Rowen: (1) To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many schools have been refurbished through the Building Schools for the Future programme; how many of them were found to have asbestos; and how many had that asbestos removed; [301091]

(2) how much has been spent on refurbishing schools through the Building Schools for the Future programme; how much has been spent dealing with asbestos during such refurbishments; and if he will make a statement. [301092]

24 Nov 2009

Mr. Coaker: Of the 129 schools where work under Building Schools for the Future (BSF) is complete, 30 have included refurbishment. In a further 21, the work was confined to ICT renewal. Asbestos surveys may or may not have been required, depending on the age of the buildings. The total capital funding provided for these schools under BSF is £429 million, including £66 million for ICT. Information on the number of refurbished schools that contained asbestos or the amounts spent on asbestos removal is not held centrally. Overall the BSF programme is expected to comprise approximately 35 per cent. major refurbishment, 15 per cent. minor refurbishment and 50 per cent. new build in terms of floor area. Major refurbishments carried out under the Building Schools for the Future programme normally include removal of all asbestos in areas likely to be disturbed by the work. Asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) that are likely to deteriorate are identified by an asbestos survey for each refurbishment and normally removed.

Asbestos is also removed when buildings are demolished. For minor refurbishment work, an asbestos survey is done and ACMs are either removed or managed in place, depending on their condition.

Schools: Asbestos

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families for what reasons he decided to include the requirement for an asbestos survey in the standard contract documentation for the Building Schools for the Future programme; and what data on the presence of asbestos in schools he took into account in making that decision. [302010]

Mr. Coaker: The reasons we decided to include the requirement for an asbestos survey in the standard documentation are to:

  • reinforce the need for compliance with asbestos legislation;
  • find out if Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) are present;
  • and avoid contractual delays and financial uncertainties.

This is based on experience from previous building programmes where the discovery of ACMs during refurbishment has led to substantial delays and unforeseen costs.