The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has recently published the Asbestos Management Assurance Process (AMAP) online portal user-guide on GOV.UK. Responsible Bodies are being asked to complete the AMAP. Responsible Bodies have a duty under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 to manage any asbestos in their school buildings. The assurance process is aimed at Responsible Bodies to enable them to provide an assurance that their respective schools are compliant with asbestos management regulations.
- ‘Responsible Body’ means: the main employer of staff at ‘State-Funded Schools and Academies’.
- ‘State-Funded Schools and Academies’ means: maintained nursery schools, maintained schools (including primary, secondary and middle schools), maintained special schools and academy special schools, pupil referral units, academies and free schools and non-maintained special schools.
The AMAP will not apply to other types of nursery schools or early years providers, FE and HE institutions and independent schools. While specialist post-16 institutions may have eligible state-funded pupils, those institutions will not be included.
All Responsible Bodies are expected to complete the AMAP and submit an assurance declaration. They will need to ensure that they include every school for which they are responsible in the AMAP declaration. They can either complete all returns themselves or they can ask their schools to complete the information requested and then submit it to them for review. Responsible Bodies would still need to provide an assurance declaration. They have until 12:00 noon, on Thursday 31 May, 2018, to complete this assurance process for all of their schools.
Responsible Bodies should already be identifying and managing asbestos in their schools as part of their estate management and health and safety duties. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advise that as long as asbestos-containing materials are undamaged, encapsulated and not in locations where they are vulnerable to damage, they should be managed in situ. If Responsible Bodies want to do any building or maintenance work in school premises, or on equipment that might contain asbestos, they need to identify where it is and its type and condition, taking account of the fact that some buildings may contain ‘hidden’ asbestos.
The DfE strongly recommends that all local authorities, leaders and governing bodies of maintained schools and trusts read the department’s guidance Asbestos Management in School, and review their asbestos management arrangements before completing the assurance process.