Asbestos exposure fear as primary school is refurbed

Last Updated on 5th February 2020 by Kirsty Smithson

Asbestos exposure fear grows amongst locals as primary school is renovated

Local residents of a primary school in Chingford, Walltham Forest, are concerned for the safety of pupils and staff as building works take place and asbestos exposure fear spreads throughout the community.

Selwyn Primary School is having two of its Edwardian buildings demolished as part of its improvement works.

But neighbouring residents are concerned about asbestos that is known to be present in these old buildings being disturbed and causing a health risk.

600 children attend Selwyn Primary school, but there are no plans to close the whole site whilst the building works take place.

However, the building contractors have attempted to offer reassurance by stating that the asbestos removal will only be done in empty and sealed buildings, so children and staff will not be put at any risk.

Asbestos exposure fear among local residents as Selwyn Primary school is refurbed

The Educational and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) have instructed the renovations on the school buildings.

They said,“The ESFA takes the safety of pupils and staff very seriously and follows strict HSE guidance in the removal of any hazardous material such as asbestos.”

“Removal of asbestos will only commence in vacated sealed buildings which has no access to Selwyn children or staff and is solely in the possession of the main contractor. All our main contractors are required to appoint specialists to remove any such material and provide evidence of this as well as its legal disposal.”

“All areas are then regularly air tested to make sure they are clear before the area is unsealed.”

“Waltham Forest Council has been advised by the ESFA that their technical consultants have completed a thorough check of all the risk assessments and method statements from the main contractor and confirmed they are complaint.”

“These are old buildings and there is both known and unknown asbestos so the main contractor has conducted a refurbishment and demolition survey to identify what is unknown to arrange its safe removal before demolition. This is due to be removed shortly and if nothing else is found demolition will start in approximately 10 weeks.”

Local council are not involved in the renovation works

Waltham Forest Council are not in any way involved with the renovation of Selwyn primary school.

Cabinet member for children and young people, Cllr Grace Williams, said, “The project to rebuild Selwyn Primary School is funded and managed by a central government agency, the Education and Skills Funding Agency, as part of its Priority Schools Building programme.”

“This national programme aims to rebuild schools that are in the very worst condition. The work will enable pupils of Selwyn Primary to enjoy learning in a fit-for-purpose environment as they get the best start in life.”

Source of article:-


Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their properties, carrying out an asbestos survey in their building so as not to put employees at risk.

So make sure you contact our Armco office to arrange an asbestos survey, before it’s too late! 

Whether you need an asbestos management survey, or a refurbishment/ demolition survey, contact us on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting

Finally, for all your asbestos training needs call 0161 761 4424 or visit book an asbestos awareness training course.

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Published Jun 18, 2018

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