Rye and Robertsbridge schools found to contain ‘high risk’ asbestos

Northiam CE Primary School. Photo courtesy of Google Maps
Northiam CE Primary School. Photo courtesy of Google Maps

A primary school in Rye and a community college in Robertsbridge contain ‘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.

Northiam CE Primary School and Robertsbridge Community College were both found to have a ranking of 11.

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 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.”

Management surveys are carried out on all 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, or has been damaged, 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.