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Amazon offering free resources to help families with home learning

What is Amazon offering?

Maths

  • Amazon Maths4All now offers hundreds of free maths games, apps and challenges on Alexa, worksheets for Kindle and Fire Tablets, and caters for a range of ages across primary and secondary school, learning styles and abilities.
  • Students can tune into a maths lesson from Rachel Riley, Countdown presenter and the nation’s favourite mathematician, who joined our Very Important Breakfast Clubs to play the numbers game and show that maths is ‘easy as Pi’.
  • You can even involve Alexa in learning from home. Get started by saying, “Alexa, ask the Maths Coach to start a test”, or “Alexa, ask the Maths Coach for a hard addition test”.
  • Amazon has injected some fun into times tables lessons with free games available to download on Amazon Fire Tablets. Older students can try out Timestables Rockstars while younger learners can play ‘Meet the Numberblocks!’.

 

Science

  • The Hour of Code Dance Party is the perfect feel-good Friday finish after a long week of remote learning. This interactive dance-themed online coding tutorial gives students the opportunity to build their computer science skills while have some fun coding characters to dance to songs from leading artists.
  • Dr Ranj Singh, the NHS doctor and BAFTA award-winning TV presenter, is providing a short brain-busting lesson in biology. Children in years 1 -7 can learn about the growing brain and how to keep your brain healthy.
  • Amazon Future Engineer is our comprehensive childhood-to-career programme designed to inspire, educate and enable children and young adults from lower-income backgrounds to try computer science. Earlier this year, Amazon Future Engineer launched free virtual coding programmes to help young people build computer science skills while learning at home.
  • Those aged 11-16 can enter the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize, which challenges students to develop technological innovations to help solve some of the world’s biggest issues (entries close 12th February 2021)

English

  • Young people and parents can listen to stories at Stories.Audible.com, with specially curated categories such as ‘Littlest Listeners’ and ‘Elementary’ offering free audio books. Get whisked away to Alice In Wonderland (read by Scarlett Johansson), Jane Eyre (read by Thandie Newton), Anne of Green Gables (Read by Rachel McAdams) and Frankenstein (read by Dan Stevens).

Physical Education

More information can be here: https://blog.aboutamazon.co.uk/in-the-community/home-schooling-resources-for-parents-carers-and-children-during-lockdown

 

93% of education professionals believe they should be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccine

And over a third say they should be in the same category as over 80s and keyworkers

 

More than 93% of headteachers, teachers and education support staff believe they should be listed in the priority list for a Covid-19 vaccine, with 42% claiming they should be categorised with the over 80s and key workers.

 

Currently, teachers and support staff are not listed on the vaccine priority list, despite them still working in schools for vulnerable children, children of critical workers and learners undertaking essential exams and assessments.

 

New Directions Education, Wales’ largest education recruitment company and one of the leading providers of supply teachers and long-term staff across the UK, surveyed over 1,300* headteachers, teachers, teaching assistants, support, and administrative school staff about their feelings on the vaccine and how education staff should be prioritised. 

 

Of those surveyed, 89% said they would take the vaccine, if offered, and nearly two thirds (58.8%) believe they should be prioritised in the first two tiers of vaccinations.

 

According to the New Directions Education survey, front line teaching staff also appear to have borne the brunt of the infections in school, with 11% of teachers asked saying they had tested positive for Coronavirus compared with 8% for all education staff.

 

Gary Williams, Director of New Directions Education, said: “We have been supporting schools and colleges in Wales, the Midlands and the North West of England during the pandemic and have seen first-hand the difficult conditions and stress that working under the cloud of Covid-19 has had on education staff.

 

“With the wonderful news that three vaccines had been approved for use in the UK, we were disappointed to see that teachers and support staff were not included specifically on the priority list, and so wanted to ask the education professionals themselves what they thought.”

 

“Unsurprisingly, and resoundingly, most felt that education staff should be pushed up the priority list to allow all children back to access classroom-based education.” Gary added.

 

“Working in a school, in any capacity, during a global pandemic is not an easy thing to do. Staff face the prospect of infection every day but have carried on with their important work regardless. Parents who are now home-schooling will no doubt appreciate the work of teachers and education staff even more.”

 

A petition of more than 46,000 signatures prompted a debate with MPs in Parliament this week, and UK Government’s vaccine rollout minister Nadhim Zahawi said that teachers would be prioritised along with other front line workers once the first phase of vaccinations had been carried out.** 

Likewise in Wales, over 16,000 people have signed a petition to prioritise teachers, schools and childcare staff for the vaccine.

Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams has said that teachers will not be pushed up the priority list, as other more vulnerable people would suffer, however evidence will be submitted to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) as they make further decisions on the further rollout of the programme. ***

For more information about New Directions Education visit www.ndteach.co.uk  

 

Coram’s education charities launch free resources to support children’s wellbeing, literacy and learning at home

Coram’s education charities, Coram Life Education, Coram Beanstalk and Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation, have developed a programme of free online resources for teachers and parents to use during the lockdown, helping to boost children’s emotional wellbeing as well as their academic learning at this time. 

 

Coram Life Education, the UK’s leading provider of children’s Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education, has launched SCARF at Home, a programme of activities for primary school teachers to share with parents, helping children to learn the valuable life skills needed to help them be happy, healthy and safe.  

 

The activities, developed by teachers, are part of the charity’s online SCARF programme, promoting the values of Safety, Caring, Achievement, Resilience and Friendship. Over 45,000 teachers across the UK are now SCARF subscribers, and they have told the charity that what they most need during this time is engaging, fun and memorable activities to share with parents.  

 

SCARF at Home focuses on the ways children can keep themselves healthy and safe, including staying safe online, and the skills needed to help them look after their bodies. Older children learn about assertiveness, recognising the influence of friends and how to think critically about the decisions they make and managing risks safely. 

 

The activities are designed for different age groups and include body bingo, bedtime routines, online safety activities, games and films and bullying discussion points. The resources also include the return of ‘Harold’s Daily Diary’, launched during the first national lockdown in March 2020, encouraging children to read about and send their ideas to Coram Life Education’s healthy-living giraffe mascot Harold, as he describes his experiences of staying safe and happy at home. 

 

Feedback from teachers who have tried the SCARF at Home resources has been positive, with one commenting: “When I received the SCARF alert I had to email you to say a big thank you! Really looking forward to the return of Harold’s diary in addition to all the lessons and resources.” 

 

Harriet Gill, Managing Director of Coram Life Education said: “Schools, children and parents have experienced so much disruption and uncertainty. With schools’ restricted opening, offering easy-to-access, free resources from reputable sources is invaluable, particularly as SCARF at Home focuses on children staying safe and well, both on and offline”. 

 

The SCARF at Home activities are suitable for children aged 3-11. To find out more and to access the toolkit, school teachers can visit coramlifeeducation.org.uk/scarf/scarf-at-home. ‘Harold’s Daily Diary’ is freely available to all at coramlifeeducation.org.uk/harolds-daily-diary. 

 

In addition to the SCARF at Home programme, Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation has launched resources for Key Stages 2, 3 and 4, which can be taught directly or explored independently, focusing on the language and history of Shakespeare.  Teachers can access these at shakespeareschools.org/resources-for-schools.  

 

National reading charity Coram Beanstalk is providing regularly updated tips and fun book-based activities to help children with their reading at home, including tips for ‘Growing A Love of Reading’, Story Dice illustrated by popular illustrator Nick Sharratt, video story readings and monthly #BeanstalkBrilliantBooks, all available at beanstalkcharity.org.uk. The website also features a ‘Stay Home And Read Every Day’ poster which families can display in their windows to ‘SHARE’ the books they are enjoying together as a family over the lockdown period. 

Canva for Education empowers teachers during lockdown with free, easy to use resources to keep learning alive remotely.

 

Carly Daff, Canva for Education’s Director of Product, explained it’s important to equip teachers with free, easy-to-use and intuitive tools to ensure they can keep students engaged in their learnings and looking forward to every class.

 

“Even before schools moved to an online environment, one of the biggest challenges facing educators was maintaining students’ engagement and shifting their attention away from everyday distractions like their phones and computers. With many schools still online around the world, and students in the comfort of their own homes with computers and phones at the ready, it’s now more important than ever to find ways to keep students proactively engaged virtually, paying attention and keeping them on track with their education.

With thousands of education-focused templates to work with, from online whiteboards, worksheets suitable for a range of subjects, group work activities, infographics, to posters, presentations, classroom decor kits, educational videos, flashcards plus many others, Canva for Education is a free one-stop-shop for creating and collaborating in an online classroom.

Our top tips for teachers includes:

  1. Focus on tools that offer real time collaboration– it is important students and teachers can continue to work and collaborate together, regardless of where they are located
  2. Use interesting tools, elements and content to keep students engaged – with remote and hybrid learning here to stay, we know the tools and elements educators use in the classroom not only need to contribute to a student’s learning experience, the output needs to be interesting, impressive and memorable to ensure full engagement.
  3. Make the technology easier and accessible to all – instead of using multiple platforms and softwares to teach, focus on using tools that offer the most value, all in one place, that are also useful across multiple platforms and devices. Less worries about technology and difficulties accessing certain platforms means more time to focus on remote learning, class collaboration and engagement

The Canva for Education platform is driven by one simple belief, technology should break down barriers, not build them, and this has been more essential than ever during lockdown. We’re proud of the way we have been able to keep learning alive and well during this unprecedented time, helping educators and students work together, even when they’re apart, and we will continue to evolve our product to ensure it truly supports the education sector in moving forward.

Canva for Education is entirely free for teachers and their students globally. Sign up today at: www.canva.com/education

Most say teachers should be in same group as NHS staff for jab

THE UK public (87%) think teachers should be included in a priority group for vaccinations so that schools can re-open.  More than half (55%) think teachers should be in the same group as frontline healthcare workers.

Digital pollsters Findoutnow.co.uk asked over 4,000 people: It is argued that teachers’ vaccinations should be prioritised so that children can return to school sooner. In which priority group, if any, should teachers be included?  The answers are:

Same time, or sooner than frontline healthcare workers:  55%
Same time, or sooner than over 70s: 63%
Same time, or sooner than at risk groups: 77%
Same time, or sooner than over 60s: 83%
Some kind of priority: 87%

You can see the full results here

There is growing concern for the mental health and education prospects of children who cannot attend school.

Chris Holbrook, founder of findoutnow.co.uk, said: “The results show people are desperate to get schools re-opened.”

 

About the survey

The survey of 4,214 members of Pick My Postcode was conducted on Wednesday 6th of January. Find Out Now adjusted the results to get a nationally representative sub-sample of 1,500 within +/-1% of ONS quotas for Age, Gender, Region, social economic group and past voting using machine learning. 

 

For further information, or to request a poll or survey, contact us on ask@findoutnow.co.uk.

“Our sector’s willingness to work towards our common goals positively does pay off – but we have to get this review right”

NASBTT has today responded to the Department for Education (DfE) Initial Teacher Training (ITT) market review policy paper https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/initial-teacher-training-itt-market-review and announcement on a new Institute of Teaching https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-institute-of-teaching-set-to-be-established

 

Executive Director Emma Hollis said: “We are pleased that the ITT market review expert group plan to work closely with the sector in developing and testing thinking as the ITT review progresses. We have been invited to meet the group later this month and look forward to being part of an open, collaborative discussion. We expect this discussion to include the new Institute of Teaching, which we broadly welcome in terms of its focus on evidence-based approaches in teacher education, as this will further support high-quality ITT. We note that when the Institute is at full capacity it will train around 1,000 ITT trainees annually. Of course, every year 35,000 trainee teachers and their mentors must be trained. In order to achieve this, multiple ITT providers, of all shapes and sizes, are needed. 

 

Since we were formed in 2000, NASBTT – and our staff, Trustees and members – have acquired arguably unrivalled experience in school-based ITT and, as per the review’s aim, we all want to ensure the sector continues to provide consistently high-quality training, in line with the Core Content Framework, Early Career Framework and Ofsted ITE inspection framework, all of which we have been involved in developing and implementing in partnership with the DfE and some members of the review expert group. Ahead of the review’s conclusion, we will represent the views of all our members: SCITTs, School Direct Lead Schools, Teaching Schools and HEIs, and underpin these views with the evidence of the impact of their provision.  

 

Our sector’s willingness to work towards our common goals positively does pay off. It was a result of this trust that we were able to work with the DfE on a number of key policy adaptations during the last academic year and into this. This included the agreement that QTS could be rewarded based on a trainee’s trajectory, the trust given to providers to ascertain who needed retrieval placements, and the additional funding that we helped secure to support those placements. It also included the relaxations to the ITT criteria, something we worked extremely hard on with the Department, as well as the assurances that we were able to secure that trainee teachers could be classed as critical workers, allowing them to work in schools and providing reassurance to placement school headteachers. We are very positive about working in partnership with the review expert group. 

 

Clearly there is a lot at stake with this review, and we have to get this right. As we have previously said, by every objective measure, the ITT sector is performing exceptionally well. Ofsted inspections have 99% of providers rated good or better, so on that metric alone existing provision must be judged to be high quality. Whilst, as with everything, progress is to be welcomed, the ITT market is not fundamentally flawed – evolution, not revolution, is the way forward.”

 

How parents can help children improve mental health during pandemic with fun PE lessons at home

School closures, Covid-19 self-isolation and lockdown restrictions have made primary school children appreciate PE lessons and sport more than ever before.

A survey by the Youth Sport Trust found that more than a quarter of youngsters said sport and exercise made them feel better during the pandemic.

With most grassroots sports cancelled and ‘bubbles’ being sent home from school; parents are now being urged to help their children stay active during tiered lockdowns.

PE Planning, a team of experienced PE specialists, have created a free resource of ideas and tips on how primary school children can exercise safely at home, boosting their well-being and mental health.

Yorkshire-based PE Planning has published a series of free resource sheets online for both parents and teachers to keep primary aged children active.

Research by the Youth Sport Trust found that 27% of children said sport and exercise improved their mood. This was particularly true for junior school-age pupils aged eight to 11.

More than a third (37%) said sport and PE was more important in their lives now than before lockdown.

Will Smith, founder of PE Planning, said: “Since the start of the pandemic we have seen just how important PE, sport and exercise is to our children and young people.

“Not being able to burn off that excess energy and let off some steam affects how they feel and their mental health.

“With grassroots sport cancelled and school life being very different now it’s important that children still maintain regular exercise.

“Home-schooling has meant parents have been more closely involved with the education of their children than ever before and physical exercise (or physical literacy) is just as important as academic learning.”

PE Planning are specialists in delivering PE planning for primary school age children which supports National Curriculum requirements.

But the company also publishes free exercise advice for parents. There are lots of ideas for family-friendly exercise and games, all with the accent on fun.

There are indoor games, ball skills, dancing and gymnastics – and even exercises that can be done at the kitchen table. There are also family fitness plans so mum and dad can join in too.

The ideas are all simple and inexpensive so everyone can take part even without sports or other equipment at home.

“Our sessions are active, engaging and fun,” said Will. “We want everybody to have access to high quality exercise plans and much of what we offer can be done without any equipment at all.

“We aim to inspire and motivate our children to get active and that’s more important today than ever before. Parents can really make a difference to their children’s physical and mental well-being with a few simple ideas.”

The free resources can be found at www.peplanning.org.uk 

Let’s Talk About Flex: Flipping the flexible working narrative for education by Emma Turner

Opening up the conversation around flexible working in education, this book explores what can work, what has worked, and what could work. Based on the experiences of a professional flex-pert this narrative encourages teachers and school leaders to revisit and rethink flexible working

‘This is a groundbreaking book and an exceptionally good read. Emma has a gift for a musical metaphor, stretched to provide remarkable insights into the possibilities and many of the barriers to flexible working. If any other sector was haemorrhaging highly trained and capable staff with such rapidity, then there would be serious questions asked. Emma poses these questions and provides a range of sensible solutions. We need to stop paying lip service to teacher retention, start taking it seriously and  this book points to the way to take solid steps to get there.’

Mary Myatt, education adviser, speaker and author

Let’s Talk About Flex by Emma Turner is an engaging and witty book that invites school leaders and teachers to re-examine flexible working. After being able to work flexibly for 14 of her 23 years in education across teaching, school leadership and MAT leadership roles, Emma Turner realised that sadly, she was actually in the minority and has just been very fortunate. Recently there has been a groundswell of support across the education system for developing more life friendly, innovative and flexible ways of working, however there are still a great deal of misconceptions, biases and prejudices about flexible working and flexible workers.

 

Through her ‘playlist’ of favourites and engaging, humorous musical analogies, Emma explores the countdown of successful ways that flexible working can be viewed by both employers and employees for staff at all levels, including senior and school leadership. This book examines the options and opportunities and asks the questions that need to be answered in order to open up the flexible working conversation.

 

After introducing the reader to her ‘disco in the kitchen’, and the thoughts behind her selection of educational floor fillers, the conversation turns to thinking about:

  • What flexible working means
  • Challenging historical working practices, allowing a more flexible approach that encourages continuous professional development that helps attract and retain teachers
  • Looking into the types of flexible working defined by the Department of Education: part-time working, job-sharing, compressed hours, staggered hours, working from home and what these options have to offer when combined with some innovative thinking about staffing
  • Providing opportunity for staff to request flexible working and its position within the school staffing structure
  • How flexibility fits with performance management, mentoring, coaching, facilitating and staff training and ensuring equitable opportunities to both full time and flexible workers
  • The ‘famous five’ common myths about why flexible working would be impossible to implement: opposition from parents, schools need one leader, complications with contracts and calculating wages, the school timetable, there are already too many part-time staff, each of these are thoughtfully debunked
  • The logistics: building shared expectations and designing systems for communication, events and meetings to ensure continuity for students and staff
  • Co-leadership structures and how they are built
  • Accountability and mechanisms for job-shares and support for lone workers.

 

Each chapter is full of examples of Emma’s first hand experiences as a teacher and a leader, illustrating the issues being discussed and ending with guiding questions for both employers and flexible workers to help continue the discussion.

 

Commenting on her new book, Emma Turner said, ‘Whether you’re an individual wanting to know more about flexibility, an organisation wanting to shake up the way you flex in your own workplaces or you’re someone determined to take on rigid or outdated systems in your own organisations, then I want to let you know you are not on your own. There is so much happening on the flexi dance floor right now so pull on your dancing shoes, turn up the volume and whack on an edu floor-filler.’

 

To learn more or order a copy of Let’s Talk About Flex (priced at just £12), please click here.

 

New Suffolk school opens in Grade II listed Wetheringsett Manor to boost outcomes for vulnerable pupils from Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridge

A new specialist school with state-of-the-art facilities has opened in Stowmarket, Suffolk in Grade II listed former rectory Wetheringsett Manor, in response to the growing demand for personalised learning to meet the needs of pupils with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) difficulties. An architectural gem set in beautiful grounds, Wetheringsett Manor School has been extensively refurbished and extended to provide an inspiring and therapeutic learning environment for vulnerable pupils aged 11-18 – and its specialist approach is already attracting pupils from the surrounding counties of Essex, Norfolk and Cambridge as well as Suffolk.

At Wetheringsett Manor School, part of Acorn Education & Care and Outcomes First Group, education is adapted to meet each individual’s learning needs while ensuring they also feel safe, secure and nurtured. Catering to pupils who have a wide range of social, emotional and mental health needs – for whom a mainstream environment is often too overwhelming – the school provides a variety of learning spaces suitable for one-to-one and small group teaching to optimise outcomes. Classes have a maximum of six children with one teacher and a teaching assistant, with additional support from a team of specialist staff – including speech and language therapists, educational psychologists and occupational therapists.

A brand new extension adjoining the main building, which dates back to 1843, houses spacious modern classrooms, each equipped with the latest education technology including interactive whiteboards and laptops. Calming sensory areas provide essential spaces for pupils to regulate their senses, which in turn helps to support their emotional wellbeing. While literacy and numeracy skills underpin the school’s curriculum, great emphasis is placed on ensuring that the education delivered is relevant to pupils’ experiences of the real world so that they can apply what they learn in everyday situations.

Set in extensive grounds in the picturesque village of Wetheringsett, the school provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor learning. Forest school is an integral part of the school week and takes place every Wednesday, giving pupils the chance to develop self-confidence and life skills through teamwork activities such as building fires and shelters. Each child has their own section of an allotment, with home-grown produce used in lessons to prepare lunchtime food. Resident muntjac deer, pheasants and guinea fowl add to the enriched learning environment, and the school is also looking to welcome a therapy dog and chickens.

Further plans in the pipeline include a new sports centre, as well as developing the existing on-site factory to provide vocational training opportunities for pupils in sectors such as mechanics, health and beauty, decorating, plumbing and joinery. The school is also looking to develop further learning links with local colleges.

Drawing referrals from local authorities in Suffolk and the surrounding counties of Norfolk, Essex and Cambridge, Wetheringsett Manor is growing its intake to support more pupils with SEMH and other complex needs. Some of these vulnerable young people have been out of the education system for up to two years due to a lack of suitable placements within reasonable travelling distance.

Commenting on the opening of Wetheringsett Manor School, Headteacher David Bishop said, “We are delighted to be welcoming our first students and supporting them on their education journey, helping to unlock both their personal and academic potential. Our traditional manor house has expanded to include a modern classroom block with everything teachers and students could need. We believe in delivering an exceptional education and to do this we’ve invested in creating an environment to inspire learning, which, coupled with our professional teaching team, gives our students a first class start in life.”

Parents and carers interested in finding out about Wetheringsett Manor School and its suitability for their child are welcome to get in touch directly with the school at office@wetheringsettmanor.co.uk or call 01449 703935.

What Asbestos Taught Us About Managing Risk

The UK’s asbestos industry ended on 24th August 1999 after being used heavily from the 1950s to 80s. Over 20 years on, we’re starting to see the delayed latency period taking effect as asbestos deaths have peaked over the last year or so.

 

Asbestos was unknowingly dangerous to public health. Fibres that are too hard to be broken down by the body are breathed in and lodged in our lungs, causing many adverse health effects. Inhaling asbestos is directly linked to multiple diseases, including:

  • Mesothelioma
  • Lung cancer
  • Asbestosis

These diseases can have high fatality rates. Furthermore, these asbestos-related illnesses have a delayed latency period. This means they don’t usually develop until many years after exposure. This material was used heavily industrially and residentially.

 

Asbestos Audit, asbestos removal professionals, commented: “Asbestos is still a significant risk on sites and buildings throughout the UK. Even with some of the most stringent regulations and legislation in the world, people are still being exposed to asbestos on a daily basis.

 

“The majority of exposures occur due to either negligence or simply not knowing the legal requirements for surveying and removing asbestos products. If asbestos management is undertaken correctly, with the correct training in place, the danger and associated risks are reduced significantly.”

 

Here, we’ll explore the biggest asbestos failings and what we’ve learnt from them.

 

Is asbestos still a risk?

Although asbestos was banned in the UK two decades ago, the dangerous carcinogen lingers. It is the leading cause of occupational death, with 5,500 deaths caused last year. A new report revealed that although there have been significant efforts across the board to have the material removed to avoid risking life, there are an estimated six million tons of asbestos remaining inside around 1.5 million buildings. Some of these buildings include schools and hospitals built before 24th August 1999.

Failure to plan, manage, and monitor

Several construction companies have been heavily fined due to failing to recognise the risk of asbestos on school sites, putting subcontractors, staff, young children, and their families at risk. It is not only the direct inhalers of the fibre that are exposed to harm—secondary asbestos exposure occurs when those working with the material bring it home, for example, on their clothes, and affect their families.

 

The construction companies at hand failed to:

 

  • Effectively plan, manage, and monitor the work to prevent the accidental disruption of the asbestos
  • Communicate information about the asbestos
  • Secure the site with barriers or signs warning of asbestos, putting lives at risk

 

Speaking on the case, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Inspector Andrew Bowker commented: “The exposure to asbestos could so easily have been avoided if the two companies involved had put sufficient effort into planning, managing, and monitoring the ceiling tile removal work.

 

“HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

 

Hundreds of teachers have sadly lost their lives due to asbestos exposure at work over 15 years. Teachers have since been campaigning to have asbestos removed from 32,770 schools across the UK.

 

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “On average, a teacher has died of asbestos-related disease every fortnight over the past 15 years.

 

“This death toll will continue until the ­Government develops a planned and costed programme for its removal from ­educational buildings.”

 

The importance of a duty holder

In 2014, Marks and Spencer admitted negligently exposing an employee to asbestos, who now has mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer. In this case, employees suffering from asbestos-related diseases was caused by owners of premises failing to comply with legal safety procedures.

 

The duty to manage asbestos is enshrined in law—the Control of Asbestos Regulation 2012 places a legal responsibility on a person assigned as the duty holder so that suitable asbestos management action is planned and taken so that buildings are safe. Duty holders who fail their responsibilities can be faced with legal action.

 

If you’re a duty holder and are unsure of the risk in your building, find out more about asbestos survey types.

 

The fatal impact of cutting corners

Kate Richmond, who worked as a medical student and junior doctor at the NHS, was given a few months left to live in early 2020. She was negligently exposed to asbestos at the old Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry. Around the same time, many compensation claims were placed by NHS staff for asbestos-related diseases since 2013, which has cost the health service over £26m.

 

Similarly, in 2011, major multinational retailer Marks and Spencer was faced with a £1m fine for exposing customers and employees to asbestos in Reading and Bournemouth stores during refurbishments. The judge accused the retailer of choosing profit over health and safety and effectively neglecting to ensure a safe working and shopping environment.

 

Negligence like this can certainly be more costly than simply conducting an asbestos audit or providing the correct preventative measures. It can tarnish an organisation’s reputation by failing to provide a duty of care.

 

 

 

Make sure you take the appropriate safety measures—the effects of asbestos cannot be undone, but it can easily be prevented.

 

 

Sources

https://www.asbestos.com/news/2019/11/27/report-million-uk-buildings-contain-asbestos-infographic/

 

https://www.shponline.co.uk/in-court/asbestos-failures-lead-to-fines/