A former employee of a Beckenham school is demanding they make public surveys which showed the discovery of asbestos.

Robert Groves, 54, worked at Harris Academy, in Manor Way, for 10 years as head caretaker before being let go last year.

The school is due to undergo building works, and commissioned surveys which uncovered pockets of asbestos, though the school says staff were not exposed.

But he says he has been battling for the past few years to get key information relating to the dangerous substance.

The report is available at a cost, but Mr Groves says he should not be forced to pay for information about what he claims is a potential health hazard.

Mr Groves, from Four Elms in Kent, said: “I lived on site for 10 years. I’ve worked extremely hard breathing heavily in these areas.

“It’s probably been there since the 1960s. A lot of people will have been exposed to this unknowingly.

“They closed off areas which hadn’t been closed off before so it’s obviously severe enough for them to close them off.”

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Information published by the NHS states chronic lung conditions can arise from prolonged exposed to asbestos fibres, and can put someone at higher risk of developing other conditions.

The father-of-five added: “We don’t know what kind or form the asbestos was in; was it dust particles or what?

“Their response is it’s ‘on file with our insurers’ if anyone gets an asbestos related injury they can claim from them, but how can people claim if they don’t know they’ve been exposed?

“Someone could get asbestos related disease years down the line and wouldn’t know where it came from.

“I feel we’ve got the right to information. It’s quite worrying as I worked there for so long and asbestos related diseases develop over time.”

A spokesman for the Harris Federation said: “Two surveys were carried out in 2011 and 2013. As is common in buildings of that age some areas of asbestos were found, none of which were in spaces used by students or where there was a regular need for any staff to access.

“Each area has been dealt with appropriately by being sealed off or removed in accordance with the relevant regulations.”

NHS figures show in 2011 178 deaths were caused by asbestos, with it thought to be a factor in a further 429 deaths.