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Air Pollution and Schools

Air Pollution and Schools

What is air pollution and why is it a problem?

Air pollution is the presence of harmful gases and substances in the air we all breathe, which have adverse impacts on people’s health. Young people are highly susceptible to the impacts of air pollution. Their lungs are still growing and developing up to the age of 18, and they tend to spend more time being active outdoors. You can find out more about specific pollutants and their impacts on health on the Camden council website.

What can schools do about it?

  1. Sign up to pollution warnings and spread the word to parents

    airTEXT provide a free email and SMS service that lets you know when air pollution is forecast to be particularly poor, and provides health advice depending on the severity of the pollution episode. Encouraging parents to sign up to airTEXT is an easy way to promote awareness of air quality. Find out more by visiting the airTEXT website.

  2. Encourage more walking and cycling to school with a School Travel Plan

    Walking and cycling to school not only leads to happier and healthier pupils, but it also improves local air quality and road safety. Schools that do their School Travel Plans using the TfL STARS online system can achieve a Bronze, Silver or Gold award depending on the amount of activities they do throughout the academic year. Schools who get involved in the STARS programme are eligible to receive funding to support their travel plans. Find our more by visiting Camden’s School Travel Plans page.

  3. Host an ‘idling action day’

    Camden is part of a London-wide ‘no idling’ project, which sees council workers and community volunteers hold idling action days, where they ask drivers to switch off their engines and raise awareness of air pollution. This project is ideal for taking place during school leaving hours, and there also lots of free resources for schools. Find out more about the project by visiting the Idling Action website.

  4. Introduce air quality messaging into lessons

There are a range of toolkits and other resources for teachers that fit the National Curriculum and encourage active travel, increased road safety, and awareness of air quality. You can find out about these various resources through the links in the Further Information section at the bottom of this page.

What is Camden doing about it?

Find out more about all the actions Camden Council is taking to improve air quality across the borough by visiting the what we’re doing web pages on the main council website.

Further information

School Travel Plans

More information on the school travel plans that Camden offers to all our schools.

School travel and child road safety

More information on some of the initiatives we carry out to help children be safe and confident on the roads.

Primary Schools air quality toolkit

London Sustainability Exchange have created a free set of lesson plans based around air pollution, including opportunities for pupils to undertake their own air quality monitoring.

Transport for London educational resources

TfL have a range of programmes and resources that fit the National Curriculum, with different programmes available for a variety of age groups. These resources help encourage road safety, while promoting active travel and healthy lifestyles.

Camden’s air quality webpages

The landing page for information on Camden’s wider work to improve local air quality.

Camden’s transport and streets webpages

Find out more about Camden’s work to promote walking and cycling across the borough.

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