An Example Letter For Your Child’s Safety
An example letter has been created for parents to send to schools regarding their children’s safety around asbestos.
Dear<HEAD TEACHER>,<CHAIR OF TRUSTEES>,
I am writing to ask you for more information about asbestos at <INSERT NAME> School. I am asking this because I am concerned about the safety of both the children and the teaching and support staff at the school. I’m sure you are busy, with many things competing for your time but I would ask that you find time to take these questions seriously.
The latest research in the UK shows that over 86% of schools in the UK do currently contain asbestos, putting over 7 million pupils at regular risk of exposure.
A survey by the NUT in 2015 found that only 46% of teachers knew if there was asbestos in their school. This lack of knowledge puts them and their pupils directly at risk.
Mesothelioma has a very long latency meaning that many victims are diagnosed with the illness 30 to 40 years after their exposure.
The number of UK teachers dying from mesothelioma has risen to 22 a year. This is currently the highest rate in the world and is predicted by experts to continue to rise.
Children are particularly vulnerable to developing mesothelioma. A child first exposed at age 5 is five times more likely to contract mesothelioma than someone first exposed at age 30.
It is estimated that between 200 and 300 people are dying each year as a result of exposure to asbestos when they were pupils at school. 2 million asbestos fibres can fit on a pin head but mesothelioma can develop from ingesting only one or two fibres.
The fibres can pass through the smallest gap or crack.
Has an up to date asbestos survey been carried out for <INSERT NAME> School? Is there asbestos present and is there an ‘asbestos management plan’ in place?
If there is asbestos please can you tell me:
1. What type of asbestos is it? How much there is? Where is it? What condition is in it? What plans are in place for it’s management and removal?
2. Can the children knock, scrape or damage the asbestos? Can teachers or support staff disturb the asbestos?
3. Do all teachers, support staff and volunteers (including staff on temporary contracts) know where the asbestos is? Do teachers, school support staff and volunteers know what actions to take if they see any damage to the asbestos? Are staff and volunteers regularly updated on how the asbestos is being managed and the plans for it’s removal? Do all new staff and volunteers receive information about asbestos as part of their induction?
4. Will the school commit to producing an annual report for all parents and school staff reporting on the extent and condition of asbestos in the school and the plans in place for it’s management and removal?
I’d be grateful if you could respond to this request by writing to me at <INSERT ADDRESS>.
With best wishes,
There is also a petition in place to protect children & staff from asbestos in school.
Click here to sign the petition.
If you need any advice or information on asbestos in schools, give us a call on 0800 141 2676.
Enrol staff on the asbestos awareness training course.
Credit: Mavis Nye