Move prompted by ITV news investigation that revealed councils had not carried out checks

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) might test more schools for asbestos after an ITV news investigation revealed some local authorities had not carried out necessary checks.

The investigation said all schools were told to make checks for asbestos within “weeks, not months” after it was found in system built schools in 2006, but some checks had not been carried out a year later.

It used the example of Hay Lane Special School in Brent, where an ITV reporter and a team of specialists found the material on site.

In a statement responding to the investigation, the HSE said an inspector had made a site visit as soon as it was alerted to the situation, and remedial work had been carried out by licensed asbestos contractors.

It said further tests had been carried out to check for asbestos, discussions had taken place with Brent council about other schools and HSE had taken “appropriate enforcement action”.

The HSE also said it had been given information from the ITV survey and would carry out further checks as appropriate.

In autumn 2006 the HSE found asbestos fibres could be released in schools built under the Consortium of Local Authorities Special Programme. It advised dutyholders to seal gaps in column casings using silicone sealant and tape.

The HSE also set up a stakeholder working group to produce guidance and inspectors targeted dutyholders.