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I have been helping producers of the Victoria Derbyshire News programme who are currently attempting to put together a news story on the very topical issue of asbestos in schools. This follows the recent publications for the late Jennifer Shonk, a former Art teacher who sadly lost her battle with mesothelioma on 2 September 2014. The Late Miss Shonk regularly pinned artwork to the ceiling and witnesses have come forward to confirm school renovations during the time Miss Shonk worked at the school. One witness has stated that following an Ofsted inspection one of the terrapin classrooms was immediately closed down due to its poor condition.
There is useful guidance clearly set out on the Asbestos in Schools website http://www.asbestosexposureschools.co.uk/ which provides a simple school asbestos checklist for parents and also this would be useful for teachers.
In another asbestos in schools case, Mrs S was diagnosed with mesothelioma in September 2014 and is currently fit and well. As a teacher in the 70’s,80’s and 90’s, she regularly pinned up the children’s Art work onto the ceiling and walls at Spinfield and Burford Primary schools in Buckinghamshire, as can be seen in the attached photo. As with all of these desperately sad school teacher cases, there is usually more than meets the eye and in this particular case it was accepted practice to allow smoking in the boiler house once it had been banned from the staffroom.
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