Councils have paid out £10m over asbestos in schools

Councils in England have paid out over £10 million in compensation claims related to asbestos in schools, figures show.

The figures were obtained by BBC News and show the large compensation councils have been forced to payout as a result of people developing illness due to the presence of asbestos in school buildings.

Over the past ten years, 32 councils have settled claims from former teachers, school staff or pupils, and the BBC’s figures suggest there are at least 12,600 council-run schools where asbestos is known to be present.

The government has said it is investing £23 billion to improve school buildings, but the BBC has criticised the the government for having ‘no uniform approach’ to monitoring the presence of asbestos in schools.

Rachel Reeves MP, chair of the Asbestos in Schools group, told the BBC: "This is a ticking time bomb because very few teachers and parents know that there is asbestos in schools. The very least we should do is make sure that this information is available to them.”

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