The Mail is reporting that a 63-year-old former teacher, Marion Potts, who had worked at numerous schools across the country and abroad, died in June from mesothelioma, a cancer associated with asbestos, after pinning her pupils’ work to classroom walls…
An inquest heard the only place she could have been exposed to it was at school, where it can be released from walls in older buildings when displays are put up with drawing pins.
Mrs Potts, known to friends as Jane, is one of more than 140 UK teachers to die from mesothelioma over the past decade, leading to calls to remove asbestos from schools.
At her inquest in Southampton, coroner Keith Wiseman said: ‘Mrs Potts particularly mentioned a variety of occasions – such as basic matters like putting up a display with drawing pins – where this material would come out of the walls or when they were damaged by pupils.’
Recording a verdict of death from industrial disease, Mr Wiseman added: ‘I hope all the necessary steps are taken in the future to ensure the elimination of this substance.’
The inquest heard it was not known at which school the teacher was exposed to asbestos. She retired from her most recent position as the head of English at The Romsey School, in Hampshire, two years ago after falling ill. Before that she worked at the New Forest Academy in Holbury. But education bosses insist that both Hampshire schools where Mrs Potts worked are safe.
Only last year an all-party Parliamentary group warned that 75 per cent of schools nationwide expose children and staff to asbestos.
Mrs Potts’ husband Michael, 63, a retired banker, called for it to be removed from schools immediately and said he was considering legal action…
National Union of Teachers representative Pete Sopowski said: ‘There’s a huge problem in schools. It’s a case of which schools don’t have it rather than which do.’
Do you work in an old school? If so, how much reassurance have you been given about asbestos? Please share in the comments or on twitter…