Page last updated at 22:32 GMT, Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Adjournment debate

On 7 February 2012, Labour MP Ian Lavery led an adjournment debate on asbestos in schools.

An all-party group of MPs and peers has called for a scheme to remove the material after studying estimates which suggest it was present in more than 75% of schools.

More than 140 teachers have died from the rare asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma in the past 10 years.

Education chiefs say it is unacceptable for schools to ignore guidance, but that undamaged asbestos should be left.

Last year, the Department for Education (DfE) revealed that its "best estimate" was that more than three-quarters of schools contain asbestos.

The Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health's chairman, Jim Sheridan MP, said: "This is a national scandal.

"Urgent action is needed to prevent more pupils, teachers and other staff being exposed to this deadly killer dust.

"We need both far greater awareness of the risks that this material poses and a programme for its phased removal."

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