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Asbestos in Kelvindale Primary School
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Asbestos in Kelvindale Primary School


The Parent Council received a note of concern from a parent who had noticed certain areas of asbestos works being undertaken during the 4Rs refurbishment. The Parent Council worked with the parent to draw up a list of questions which have now been answered by Glasgow City Council (“GCC”). Please contact us on at if you would like to seek any further information.


•           What is GCC’s policy is in relation to the discovery of asbestos in schools in Glasgow? All Glasgow schools have been surveyed for asbestos and the results maintained in an electronic database available in all schools. The survey is a combination of visual inspection backed up by physical sampling and is called a Management Survey. It is not a destructive survey as asbestos within walls would not present a hazard under normal operating conditions. In areas known (by common building practice) to most likely have asbestos then the location/material is noted as being presumed to be asbestos and treated as such until proven otherwise. No works involving disruption to the building fabric are undertaken without reference to the building survey. If the work requires opening up areas not normally exposed then a destructive survey is undertaken to ensure the safety of all involved.


•           What asbestos has been discovered in the school during the works and having been missed from the survey? Prior to (and ongoing throughout the refurbishment) asbestos checks are carried out. This more in depth survey involving destructive surveying is called a Refurbishment Survey. No asbestos has been discovered that wasn’t already known or presumed.


•           If so, on how many occasions and have they been notifiable? Although no unknown asbestos was found there was asbestos to be removed as part of the refurbishment process. This was notified to the HSE in accordance with the law. The HSE inspected the Main Contractor and Asbestos contractors on site and made no adverse comments.


•           Would GCC ever consider a full decant if sufficient asbestos was discovered? The discovery of asbestos in and of itself would not require a closure/decant. Asbestos is not hazardous if undisturbed however if there was some structural failure or significant act of vandalism leading to asbestos being disturbed the school would be closed until it was safe to re-open. The decision to decant would be dependent on the extent of the damage.


•           If so, in what circumstances? Why not at Kelvindale? The only decant required for the school refurbishment was to make rooms available for the construction team to work in safe segregation from the staff and pupils.


•           Was consideration given to invasive works to remove all asbestos in the absence of pupils? The policy with regards to asbestos is to manage it in place. Where, due to work content, asbestos removals were required this was done out with normal hours.

•           Was a safety plan put in place for the pupils and if so what are its terms? For each section the work area was agreed with the school and clearly delineated to prevent staff or children accessing the space. Barriers were erected and both the contractors and staff know to remain vigilant. Traffic movement and contractors movement is timed to minimise risk. Contractors start, stop and break times are all co-ordinated in line with those of the school.


•           What is GCC’s proposed plan going forward if further asbestos if found? Education will continue to operate in accordance with HSE guidance and Council Policy. As noted above undisturbed asbestos presents no hazard and, if during some further work in the future asbestos is identified its location and condition would be added to the database.


•           Is the school or GCC to update parents with details of the asbestos found, how it has been removed or made safe and the steps taken to ensure pupil and staff safety? All removals are undertaken by licensed contractors and details of risk assessments and method statements passed to the HSE well in advance of any works.