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We will place a special focus on protecting our schools. Children are a vulnerable group whose developing lungs make them particularly susceptible to air pollution.

As a local authority we need to ensure that we are continually assessing the impact on this vulnerable group and taking steps to minimise the effects of air pollution in our schools and during travel to and from school.

Summary of actions

  • Audit schools in areas of poor air quality and provide financial support for measures that help to reduce air pollution exposure for children in the borough
  • Have schools in areas of poor air quality incorporated into our monitoring and review regime
  • Work alongside our Public Health partners to deliver the joint health benefits of active travel and healthy lifestyles
  • Tackle idling vehicles at schools as a priority
  • To reduce traffic around schools at drop off and pick up times we will be piloting ‘School Streets’ at selected schools with a view to extending these in the borough
  • Pilot internal air quality filtration in schools and prepare a report for committee about its effectiveness
  • We will increase the number of schools with accredited travel plans by 20% per year with an aim to have up to 90% of all schools covered by 2024

Useful resources

Our Schools' air quality page details the work we do with schools to improve local air quality through a range of projects.

The Mayor of London’s School audit programme made recommendations on how to reduce emissions and exposure. It also provided an audit toolkit which will be used for future audits.

The Schools travel planning page explains the benefits of Active travel and links to TfL’s STARS programme which includes details of their many initiatives and home learning activities.

As an Idling Action London partner, we can offer schools customised workshops and assemblies to encourage local communities to switch their engines off and reduce air pollution.

Our School Streets webpage explain how they work and what they achieve, as well as providing details of temporary road closures at the growing number of schools in the borough that are implementing school streets.

Progress matrix
Action Current status Timeframe Target Comments

Audit all schools in areas of poor air quality and provide financial support for measures that tackle and reduce exposure to pollution

In progress 2025 3 schools per year Paused in 2020 due to COVID-19

All schools in areas of poor air quality to be incorporated into our monitoring network and regime

In progress 2025 4 schools to be incorporated Air quality monitoring offered to all schools; available but limited under COVID-19

Working alongside our Public Health partners to deliver joint health benefits of active travel and healthy lifestyles

In progress Ongoing N/A  

Tackle idling vehicles at schools as a priority

In progress Ongoing

Interventions reported quarterly

Paused and updated during COVID-19; many more school streets prioritised - considered better option than targetting idling alone

To reduce traffic around schools at drop off and pickup times we will be piloting School Streets at selected schools with a view to extend these in the borough

In progress Pilot scheme September 2020 Further rollout 2021/22 Updated during COVID-19 - three School Streets by 2020 increased to 12 by April 2021

Pilot internal air quality filtration in schools and prepare a report for Committee into its effectiveness

In progress January 2021 2 schools Performance dependent on routine maintenance - i.e. schools replacing/cleaning filters when necessary

We will increase the number of schools with accredited travel plans by 20% per year with an aim to have up to 90% of all schools covered by 2024

In progress 2024 90% Warning: current resources make 90% of schools with travel plans by 2024 unlikely unless schools initiate these themselves

Updated: 11 November 2020