Tackling school pollution

How can we decrease children’s exposure to pollution at schools?

Firstly, efforts should be made to reduce the source of the pollution as much as possible, which is usually road traffic such as buses, cars and vans. This could be done through:

Closing the road by the school to traffic at school pick-up and drop-off times (here’s an example).

Running an anti-idling campaign to stop drivers idling while waiting to pick up or drop off children at the school. You can download an idling campaign toolkit for schools here.

Campaigning to have a bus stop moved away from near borders of the school, as they’re the source of a lot of pollution (Here’s an example of a campaign).

Secondly, schools could consider mitigation measures, such as:

Moving entrances to the school and play areas away from the borders of main roads, which is where pollution levels are usually highest, and onto quieter streets.

Putting up a green screen along the side of the school site that faces any busy roads, which will help to stop some of the pollution entering the school.

Planting hedges, trees and pollution-absorbing vegetation on the site, although it is recommended that schools seek advice on this, as in some cases tree planting can actually trap pollution on site.