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The ONLY weekly voice for secondary education Issue 214 • May 21 2009 Price £1.00


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Asbestos management in the Houses Asbestos management in schools:
of Parliament: Training available Responsibility often left to one senior
for all staff. A dedicated team to leader. A lack of training or clear
monitor danger areas. Millions of guidance. Comprehensive audit of
Open source ICT
pounds of detailed work. asbestos yet to take place.
Open source software has
the potential to save schools
a lot of money. Kester Brewin
ing how asbestos was contained and She said: “It was most illuminat- The visit, which was backed by He acknowledged that there was
explains how it works, and
by Chris Parr protected, and information on how ing to contrast the excellent stand- all six education unions, called for a problem, and could see that it
what it can offer schools
tests had been carried out to detect ards of asbestos management in the Mr Brown to: needed to be addressed.
Politicians have been accused of the substance. House of Commons with the ones • Commission a comprehensive “In the past, the government
Pages 10 and 11
double standards in the ongoing Dr Mary Bousted, general secre- that I see in most schools. However, audit of the extent, type and has said that it is managing the
debate over asbestos management tary of the Association of Teachers I am very encouraged by the recent condition of asbestos in schools, problem, and that it is doing what
in schools. and Lecturers, was there. She told response from government.” and management standards. needs to be done – something that
Campaigners visiting SecEd: “The House of Commons Campaigner Michael Lees, • Carry out an assessment of the I fundamentally disagree with. This
Westminster last week were given and the House of Lords are riddled whose wife – a teacher – died risk to the occupants, with was the first time a minister has
a presentation on how the deadly with asbestos, and we were shown from mesothelioma after being particular emphasis on children. ever acknowledged to me that the
substance is managed at the Houses how the pipes there were lagged, exposed to asbestos at her school, • Reinstate the asbestos in schools system needed to be looked at.”
of Parliament and were shocked at and how millions of pounds worth also noted what he called a “huge campaign, and set up an A Department for Children,
the stark contrast when compared of detailed work was put in to ensure contrast” between the management independent joint committee to Schools and Families spokesman
to how the government treats the the safety of those working there. at Westminster and in schools. oversee it. said: “By law, tough, robust proc-
problem in schools. “At schools, the scenario is quite “It is not acceptable,” he told • Ensure all asbestos is identified esses must be in place in schools
They heard how asbestos train- different. Often, some poor deputy SecEd. “It is one standard for the and removed from schools in a to carefully monitor asbestos. It is
ing is available to all Houses of head has to manage their school’s Palace of Westminster and another phased programme when they are unacceptable for local authorities
14 to 19 focus Parliament staff, and that a dedi- situation, often without any train- for the rest of us. They are sit- refurbished under Building and school employers not to fully
cated team of staff is in place to ing, and without any clear guidance ting on a policy that would be an Schools for the Future and the comply. The Health and Safety
We hear from two further
monitor any potential danger areas. on what to do. ideal model for tackling the issue Primary Capital Programme. Executive’s advice is that it is safer
education leaders about The presentation, seen by “I look forward to the day when in schools.” Mr Lees was part of the del- to leave undisturbed or undamaged
how they collaborate with
SecEd, was delivered to an audi- a government takes asbestos in Before the presentations, egation to Number 10, and said asbestos in place and carefully man-
secondary schools, while a
ence of around 60 people, including schools as seriously as it takes asbes- which took place at the All he had been encouraged by what age it and remove asbestos where it
secondary head discusses the
teachers, union leaders, and those tos in the House of Commons.” Party Parliamentary Group on he heard. has become exposed.
who have lost family members to Carole Hagedorn, a former sec- Occupational Safety and Health, “I think that what Mr Brown told “But we know how strongly the
new Diplomas
mesothelioma – the deadly cancer ondary school teacher who was campaigners visited Number 10 to us represents a significant change campaigners feel. We are looking
Pages 14 and 15
caused by asbestos exposure. diagnosed with mesothelioma 11 deliver a list of asbestos demands to in the way the government views carefully again at their arguments
It included photographs show- months ago was also present. prime minister, Gordon Brown. the problem of asbestos in schools. and will meet them again shortly.”
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