Parents remove their children from Neasden primary school over asbestos concerns

Potentially lethal material discovered by workmen during the summer break

Concerned parents have removed their children from a primary school after the discovery of asbestos in the building.

The potentially lethal material was found by workmen in Brentfield Primary School, in Meadow Garth, Neasden, over the summer holidays.

Parts of the building have been cordoned off and parents say their children have been forced to use toilets in nearby Neasden Temple.

They also say hot food is off the menu and children are being forced to eat their lunches in classrooms.

A worried mother, who wished not to be named, said: “The school should be closed until all the work is carried out but the council doesn’t want to do this.

“Half of the building is sealed off. The children are using the temple next door to go to the toilet. There is no kitchen and they are eating in classrooms.

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“It obviously is not safe if parts of the school are closed. Half of the parents have taken their kids out. A lot of parents down here don’t know what is going on.”

A meeting for parents was held on Tuesday morning with officers from Brent Council and the school’s headteacher, Paola Riddle.

But the mother said: “Parents still have a lot of questions. We don’t feel the issue has been resolved. It obviously is not safe if half the school is closed.”

Asbestos is most dangerous when it is damaged or disturbed and can cause a lethal form of cancer.

But a council spokesman said safety measures were in place and being monitored.

He said: “Brent Council regrets any disruption for pupils, parents and staff at Brentfield Primary School caused by the removal ofasbestos.

“An independent environmental services company carried a site assessment during and after the removal process and is fully satisfied with the safety precautions put in place and how the asbestos was removed, stored and transported.

“However, to maximise safety, parts of the school have been blocked off and no access will be allowed to staff, children and visitors until the main building work is completed.”

He also said provision to use toilets at the temple had been organised but they have not been needed.