‘Shocking’ level of asbestos in Scotland’s schools exposed

By Lucy Ashton

The “shocking” level of asbestos within Scotland’s schools can be exposed today by the Scottish Conservatives.

Responses to Freedom of Information Requests by the party have revealed that a total of 1,745 Primary, Secondary and special schools contain the toxic substance.

Shadow education secretary Stephen Kerr, pictured left, has slammed the SNP for continuing to pass on “savage” cuts to local authorities, meaning schools don’t have the resources to remove asbestos from school buildings.

He said that parents will be seeking “urgent reassurances” in light of these findings uncovered by his party from new SNP education secretary Jenny Gilruth.

Stephen Kerr added the findings “fly in the face” of education being the SNP’s supposed top priority and efforts must be redoubled to keep pupils, teachers and support staff safe from the threat of asbestos in their workplace.

Stephen Kerr MSP, said: “These shocking figures raise serious questions about the safety of many of Scotland’s schools on the SNP’s watch.

“With over 1,700 of them containing deadly asbestos, these findings fly in the face of education supposedly being the SNP’s top priority.

“Asbestos is toxic and can have fatal consequences for those exposed to it. Parents will naturally be very concerned at the sheer number of schools known to have it within their estate.

“They will be seeking urgent reassurances from new SNP education secretary Jenny Gilruth – herself a former teacher – that she is on top of this issue.

“It reaffirms that the SNP have systemically passed on savage funding cuts to local authorities for years, meaning schools across Scotland don’t have the resources to remove asbestos from their buildings.

“That must change which is why the SNP must back Scottish Conservative calls to give councils a fair funding deal to remove these deadly threats once and for all, to keep our pupils, teachers and support staff safe at all times.”

Over 1,700 Scottish schools contain asbestos. A freedom of information request reveals that 1,745 primary, secondary and special schools in Scotland contain asbestos.

Top picture: The new Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth with First Minister Humza Yousaf.

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