Thursday, 24 April 2014

Asbestos Campaigner honoured at NUT Conference

This year’s Fred & Anne Jarvis Award is being given to Michael Lees, a campaigner committed to getting rid of asbestos from our schools.

Michael’s wife Gina, a nursery school teacher, and an NUT member, was exposed to asbestos at a number of different schools and died of mesothelioma at the age of 51. In the 12 years since her death, Michael has emerged as a leading voice on the risks of asbestos exposure.   

His website www.asbestosexposureschools.co.uk is one of the best places on the internet for evidence and research about asbestos and mesothelioma. Michael has also written extensively on the subject in the press, advised countless journalists and given a great many media interviews.
The NUT and Michael have worked closely together since 2005.  Together we helped set up the Asbestos in Schools Group (AiS). The group was instrumental in persuading the Department for Education (DfE) to establish an Asbestos Steering Group to improve asbestos management in schools.  The AiS has also advised the DfE on web-based asbestos awareness guidance for schools.
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“The NUT is very proud of its association with Michael Lees through the Joint Union Asbestos Committee. Michael is a tireless campaigner who approaches his work with tenacity, passion and reason. I am delighted that he is receiving this year’s Fred & Anne Jarvis Award.”
Fred Jarvis
The Fred & Anne Jarvis Award was established in 2008. It recognises the contribution of individuals, external to the Union, who have campaigned tirelessly on educational issues. The award is named after former NUT General Secretary, Fred Jarvis, and his wife, Anne Jarvis, a lifelong NUT member and former chair of the Education Committee for Barnet Council, who died in 2007. Previous winners include Malala Yousafzai and Michael Rosen.

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