HSE Education ebulletin: School inspections to assess the management of asbestos

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HSE inspections of schools to assess the management of asbestos

From September 2022 to March 2023, HSE carried out over 400 inspections of primary and secondary schools across England, Scotland and Wales to assess how they are managing risks from asbestos.


The inspections showed that most schools were complying with their legal duties and had effective systems in place to manage and monitor the condition of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).


A small number of schools (7%) had significant enough failings in their systems, meaning enforcement action was required to address them. Most of these failings related to improvements being needed in their management plans or surveys.


HSE has published a report giving full details, including the key findings that schools should: 

  • keep an up-to-date survey clearly showing the location of asbestos and highlighting any areas not surveyed
  • identify any action required by the survey, check to make sure it is completed and update records
  • have a clear asbestos management plan specific to the site, and regularly review it
  • regularly monitor the condition of ACMs
  • have effective procedures for dealing with any unplanned disturbance of ACMs and providing accurate information to emergency services attending the site
  • ensure staff have clear roles and responsibilities for managing asbestos and ensure deputies or contingency plans are in place to cover for absences
  • ensure contractors provide risk assessments, method statements, and evidence of asbestos awareness training

These findings will be used to inform future intervention approaches within the education sector and to help identify areas for improvement in schools.


Schools should use this report to ensure their systems are suitably robust and regularly reviewed. HSE is carrying out further inspections to schools across Great Britain in 2023/24.


Read the inspection report into the management of asbestos in school buildings.  

Further information

You can find further information in relation to managing asbestos below:

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