Bexhill primary school contains ‘high risk’ asbestos

Chantry Community Primary School. Picture: Google Street View
Chantry Community Primary School. Picture: Google Street View

A Bexhill primary school contains ‘high risk’ asbestos, according to East Sussex County Council.

The council carried out an assessment of each school in the county and gave them a ranking between one and 12 – with 12 being the highest.

Chantry Community Primary School, in Barrack Road, Bexhill, was found to have a ranking of ten, meaning ‘high risk’.

The council said: “We are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for pupils to learn and for employees to work. As such, we take our responsibilities in relation to asbestos management very seriously.

“All our schools have been surveyed for asbestos and adhere to an asbestos management plan. Where asbestos containing materials (ACM) are identified in any of our buildings they are removed or encapsulated through a controlled and managed process to minimise risk.

“The council allocates money each year for statutory compliance works and survey programmes, including asbestos surveys and associated works.

“A managed process of removal and encapsulation of high risk asbestos is undertaken in the light of the outcome of the asbestos survey programme.

“Where ACM remain in place they are visually inspected at least quarterly, or termly in the case of schools, in conjunction with the controller of premises’ safety.

“The council also provides routine and regular training for school premises staff and managers to ensure they are aware of asbestos management procedures, particularly in relation to any contractors’ work on their site.”

Management surveys are carried out on buildings constructed before 2000, where asbestos could be present.

To ascertain whether an area of asbestos is classed as ‘high risk’, a risk assessment is carried out which looks at the type, condition and location of the asbestos.

In terms of type of asbestos, according to the council, ‘blown’ asbestos – loose fibres of the type historically used for lagging pipes – is more of a risk than asbestos that is encapsulated within a building element such as ceiling or floor tiles.

If asbestos starts to deteriorate or degrade, its condition would be classed as more high risk than asbestos which is in a good condition.

The council said any asbestos of high risk and in an easily accessible area such as school classrooms, hallways and offices would be removed.