Demolish Cwmcarn asbestos school - report

Campaign Series: 'SERIOUS RISK': Cwmcarn High School 'SERIOUS RISK': Cwmcarn High School

●Report recommends school demolition
●‘Serious risk’ from asbestos at site
●Ten times acceptable levels found on desks, window ledges & classroom walls

CWMCARN High School has a “serious risk” of exposure to asbestos fibres and Caerphilly council should consider demolishing the building, according to a report.

Santia Asbestos Management Limited produced a report at the request of the council which states there is evidence of widespread contamination within the ceiling voids at the school building, which was closed down in October.

It says that more than ten times the accepted airborne fibre levels are evident when some of the heaters are used.

The report says asbestos dust or fibres were found on work surfaces, window ledges and other “horizontal surfaces”.

There is also evidence of continued damage to asbestos insulated boards within classrooms caused by chairs and tables scraping, as well as through the stapling and pinning of posters and schoolwork.

The company also found conclusive evidence that there had been asbestos removal in the past and that the clearance standard in the Control of Asbestos regulations has not been met.

The report says that further exposure is highly likely based on the findings and that the council should consider knocking the building down.

The report states that swab tests and surveys were carried out in the school and found that air was flowing from the ceiling void to occupied areas and that ceiling tiles were being disturbed by gusts of wind as doors and windows were opened.

Heaters were also found to be possibly blowing asbestos fibres into occupied areas.

The report states that air tests were carried out with some heaters which were used for four hours in the empty school.

Results detected airborne fibre levels of up to 7,000 fibres per cubic metre. The accepted level for schools is 500 fibres per cubic metre.

The rooms affected in the school were immediately closed off as soon as it was known about the risk.

The report states: “We are of the opinion that it is not feasible to continue operating the school in the current condition based on the risks imposed on occupants.”

It adds that based on the potential costs to continue the school’s operation, the council should “consider the removal of all asbestos containing materials so far as reasonably practicable followed by the subsequent demolition of Cwmcarn High School”.

The Argus reported that 960 pupils from the school are being taught at the former Coleg Gwent Ebbw Vale campus after head teacher Jacqui Peplinski said the only workable proposal from the school’s point of view was to temporarily relocate the entire school.

The report states it is not possible to quantify the amount of asbestos fibres released and over what period of time.

Councillors are to discuss the report at a council meeting today.

 ‘Issues not addressed’

A SIGNIFICANT number of asbestos-containing materials were identified from an existing management survey conducted in 2009, according to the report.

The report states that historic information along with current findings showed that asbestos within the school has not been managed effectively.

The findings also show that a number of issues have not been addressed, resulting in damaged or unsealed asbestos insulated boards being visible, contamination below the ceiling voids and contamination within heaters.

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:45pm Tue 20 Nov 12

BossManBig says...

Another alarmist report by both CCBC and South Wales Argus. (Yes it is alarmist - walking around Asda and seeing THE END?? Emblazoned across a picture of Cwmcarn!) Whether intended or not it is heartbreaking to see the way the media is treating my old school.

It appears to me that Caerphilly have always had an agenda to remove Cwmcarn as a school ever since I attended there in the 90's.

The teachers of the school have constantly battled for the students going above and beyond raising them to a position at the top of examination results.

The sixth form make them unique, and I would hate my children the eldest who is due to start there in two years, having no options other than college. many students need a sixth form in a school and the increasing success the school has had in this area makes it even more alarming that it may not be there.

I have been horrified by some of my close friends stories (this is hearsay) and tactics used to lure their children away by opportunistic. Yes there is a freedom of choice as parents but being told they will only be accepted if they promise not to return to Cwmcarn. Come on Caerphilly if this is true you need to look into this.

Moreover parents and the staff whose livelihoods depend on this school need to know what is happening. It appears Caerphilly has to close two school, would logic prevail if a school with the best KS3 results, constantly excellent KS4 and KS5 results with a significant amount land which is appropriate for growth and building be shut when schools which are less than half full, with little room for growth remain open. Why not offer a merger onto the Cwmcarn site and protect the staff and learners of the school.
Another alarmist report by both CCBC and South Wales Argus. (Yes it is alarmist - walking around Asda and seeing THE END?? Emblazoned across a picture of Cwmcarn!) Whether intended or not it is heartbreaking to see the way the media is treating my old school. It appears to me that Caerphilly have always had an agenda to remove Cwmcarn as a school ever since I attended there in the 90's. The teachers of the school have constantly battled for the students going above and beyond raising them to a position at the top of examination results. The sixth form make them unique, and I would hate my children the eldest who is due to start there in two years, having no options other than college. many students need a sixth form in a school and the increasing success the school has had in this area makes it even more alarming that it may not be there. I have been horrified by some of my close friends stories (this is hearsay) and tactics used to lure their children away by opportunistic. Yes there is a freedom of choice as parents but being told they will only be accepted if they promise not to return to Cwmcarn. Come on Caerphilly if this is true you need to look into this. Moreover parents and the staff whose livelihoods depend on this school need to know what is happening. It appears Caerphilly has to close two school, would logic prevail if a school with the best KS3 results, constantly excellent KS4 and KS5 results with a significant amount land which is appropriate for growth and building be shut when schools which are less than half full, with little room for growth remain open. Why not offer a merger onto the Cwmcarn site and protect the staff and learners of the school. BossManBig
  • Score: 0

2:27pm Tue 20 Nov 12

bobmech1 says...

When I was a governor of the school between 1997 and 2001
Mr Beales took CBC to the welsh assembly about this problem and the required repairs to the school
If I remember correctly they ordered CBC to do something about it
However it has always been CBC's aim to close the school as it has been a political thorn in its side irrespective of the exam results
They now have there excuse to shut the school
However I'd like to know what has happened with the welsh assembly ruling
When I was a governor of the school between 1997 and 2001 Mr Beales took CBC to the welsh assembly about this problem and the required repairs to the school If I remember correctly they ordered CBC to do something about it However it has always been CBC's aim to close the school as it has been a political thorn in its side irrespective of the exam results They now have there excuse to shut the school However I'd like to know what has happened with the welsh assembly ruling bobmech1
  • Score: 0

4:41pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Bem1978 says...

I do feel that this entire issue has brought out the worst in some. If the rumour that schools are forcing parents to promise their children will not return to Cwmcarn is true then I'm sure many will agree it is a rather disgusting tactic that manipulates the awful situation entirely.
I do feel that this entire issue has brought out the worst in some. If the rumour that schools are forcing parents to promise their children will not return to Cwmcarn is true then I'm sure many will agree it is a rather disgusting tactic that manipulates the awful situation entirely. Bem1978
  • Score: 0

10:29pm Tue 20 Nov 12

FeedMeChips says...

I have to say I am appalled by the way this paper has covered this story. Today's headline was disgusting and the editor should be ashamed of himself. CHS is a good school that is going through some trying times and your sensationalism is damaging to the welfare of children, parents and staff at the school. Why not cover some of the positive aspects? My son has made the move to Ebbw Vale Coleg Gwent site and absolutely loves it there! Plus, this school recently topped caerphilly tables in results, and not for the first time! How do you think the kids in this school have reacted to being told this is 'the end'? Shocking.
I have to say I am appalled by the way this paper has covered this story. Today's headline was disgusting and the editor should be ashamed of himself. CHS is a good school that is going through some trying times and your sensationalism is damaging to the welfare of children, parents and staff at the school. Why not cover some of the positive aspects? My son has made the move to Ebbw Vale Coleg Gwent site and absolutely loves it there! Plus, this school recently topped caerphilly tables in results, and not for the first time! How do you think the kids in this school have reacted to being told this is 'the end'? Shocking. FeedMeChips
  • Score: 0

8:26am Wed 21 Nov 12

Bem1978 says...

Completely agree! Sensationalism and no empathy for staff, parents and the kids involved!
Completely agree! Sensationalism and no empathy for staff, parents and the kids involved! Bem1978
  • Score: 0

10:19am Wed 21 Nov 12

"""""" says...

Nobody or noone has stated that the schook will definetly be demolished - that was only a recommendation in the report.The Argus should be ashamed of theirselves for printing such sensationlist nonsense. It only serves to upset all involved with Cwmcarn High School. The report states nothing different.

I am proud to say that my children go to Cwmcarn High School and am 100% behind the teachers and staff there and I totally endorse all previous comments.

I didnt buy your paper just read the article in the supermarket and put it back. Perhaps if you started reporting genune news rather than sensationalist nonsense you may find that more people woud buy the local paper.
Nobody or noone has stated that the schook will definetly be demolished - that was only a recommendation in the report.The Argus should be ashamed of theirselves for printing such sensationlist nonsense. It only serves to upset all involved with Cwmcarn High School. The report states nothing different. I am proud to say that my children go to Cwmcarn High School and am 100% behind the teachers and staff there and I totally endorse all previous comments. I didnt buy your paper just read the article in the supermarket and put it back. Perhaps if you started reporting genune news rather than sensationalist nonsense you may find that more people woud buy the local paper. """"""
  • Score: 0

1:10pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Kevin Ward - Editor says...

I realise it is easy to shoot the messenger in these circumstances.
However, it is totally untrue to suggest the Argus only reports the negatives about Cwmcarn High School.
The school recording the best results in core subjects for 11-14 year olds in the Caerphilly LEA area was reported extensively by the Argus in print and online last Thursday.
We have a duty to report the findings of the independent report into asbestos levels at the school. I would imagine its findings would be of significant concern to all parents of pupils at the school.
The independent report recommends demolition of the school. Surely it would be shoddy and irresponsible of us not to report these findings?
I realise it is easy to shoot the messenger in these circumstances. However, it is totally untrue to suggest the Argus only reports the negatives about Cwmcarn High School. The school recording the best results in core subjects for 11-14 year olds in the Caerphilly LEA area was reported extensively by the Argus in print and online last Thursday. We have a duty to report the findings of the independent report into asbestos levels at the school. I would imagine its findings would be of significant concern to all parents of pupils at the school. The independent report recommends demolition of the school. Surely it would be shoddy and irresponsible of us not to report these findings? Kevin Ward - Editor
  • Score: 0

4:53pm Wed 21 Nov 12

abirichards says...

I am currently a year 11 pupil at Cwmcarn. Seeing "The end?" printed on the front page of your paper sent rumours flying through all academic years on all types of communication. Your articles have made everyone involved with the school very wary; i hope you realise how many people are actually involved with the school. It has upset many people and the teachers are clearly frustrated as they cannot answer any of our questions about the school building. Now, I realise you want publicity but reporting false news and being sensationalist about the matter is out of order.

Cwmcarn High School is not a building, it is a strong community and I'm sure we have already proved this to everyone. Whether the building is to be demolished or not, we will still stick together. It is not the end for us, we have proven to everyone how strong and capable we are.

Enough of the false accusations, you're making it out to be far worse than it is and upsetting many people in the process.

TEAM CWMCARN!!
I am currently a year 11 pupil at Cwmcarn. Seeing "The end?" printed on the front page of your paper sent rumours flying through all academic years on all types of communication. Your articles have made everyone involved with the school very wary; i hope you realise how many people are actually involved with the school. It has upset many people and the teachers are clearly frustrated as they cannot answer any of our questions about the school building. Now, I realise you want publicity but reporting false news and being sensationalist about the matter is out of order. Cwmcarn High School is not a building, it is a strong community and I'm sure we have already proved this to everyone. Whether the building is to be demolished or not, we will still stick together. It is not the end for us, we have proven to everyone how strong and capable we are. Enough of the false accusations, you're making it out to be far worse than it is and upsetting many people in the process. TEAM CWMCARN!! abirichards
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree