ADD2400 Guidance for schools on adapting to climate change

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2400
Date signed: 
10 December 2019
Decision by: 
Aram Wood, Assistant Director of Environment

Executive summary

The Greater London Authority would like to procure the services of a consultant to produce guidance for schools (and potentially state funded nurseries) on how they can adapt to London’s changing climate including flooding, higher temperatures & heatwaves and water scarcity. In the London Environment Strategy, published in 2018, the Mayor committed to understand and manage the risks and impacts of severe weather and future climate change in London on critical infrastructure, public services, buildings and people (Objective 8.1). This work will provide teachers, facilities managers, pupils, governors and for larger schools, the commercial teams that manage investment, with short- and long-term actions that schools can take to increase their climate resilience.

Children are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change that are already being seen in London and are expected to increase in frequency and intensity. This includes hotter, drier summers and changing rainfall patterns with more intense rainfall episodes increasing the risk of flooding. These impacts can negatively impact the health, wellbeing and productivity of children in schools (and nurseries) as well as teachers and can also, in extreme cases, lead to schools (and nurseries) having to close on one or more days. The aim of this guidance is to provide schools (and potentially nurseries) with the information they need to reduce these impacts and allow schools (and nurseries), pupils and teachers to adapt to the impacts of climate change in London.

The guidance will provide immediate actions that can be taken during extreme weather events such as heatwaves or flooding events. It will also provide longer term actions that can be taken to reduce the risk such as installing sustainable drainage to manage flood risk and shading to reduce heat gains. It will also contain learning materials for children to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change.

The guidance will be tested with teachers and education specialists to ensure it is fit for purpose. It will then be disseminated to schools (and potentially nurseries) using the GLA’s networks.

Decision

That the Assistant Director of Environment approves:

Expenditure of up to £30,000 to deliver the activities associated with the project titled, ‘Guidance for schools on adapting to climate change’.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

London’s climate is changing. We are already seeing the impacts of climate change in London with more frequent heatwaves and intense rainfall events. These are expected to increase in frequency and intensity, as will drier conditions and sea level rise. The 2003 heatwave resulted in over 600 excess deaths across London. In 2018, there were 420 deaths in the UK during four heat events. 643 of London’s 2,895 schools (22 per cent) are either wholly or partially at risk of fluvial/tidal and/or surface water flooding.

The purpose of this project is to produce guidance and tips for schools (and potentially nurseries), aimed at governors, facilities managers, and teachers on how they can prepare for and respond to extreme weather events such as flooding, higher temperatures and water scarcity.

The Greater London Authority’s work with schools such as the ‘Water for Schools ‘Programme’ and the ‘Mayor’s Nurseries and Schools Air Quality Programmes’ demonstrates that nurseries and schools are eager to get involved in environmental issues if they are supported with funding and/or guidance.

This project contributes towards Objective 8.1 in the Mayor’s London Environment Strategy ‘Understand and manage the risks and impacts of severe weather and future climate change in London on critical infrastructure, public services, buildings and people’.

Currently there is no guidance that encompasses all three climate risks and recommended actions for schools in London. The project will however, reference existing tools and guidance that may be useful in helping schools adapt to climate change, for example the newly published “Reimagining Rainfall in Schools” (guidance on deliver sustainable drainage schemes in the school setting) and the emerging British Research Establishment Property Flood Resilience Guidance.

The services will be procured using Transport for London’s formal procurement framework, in accordance with Contracts and Funding code.

Objectives and expected outcomes

Provide guidance and actions for schools (and potentially nurseries) on how to prepare for and respond to extreme weather events such as flooding, higher temperatures and water scarcity.

The expected outcomes are:

- increased awareness of how schools (and potentially nurseries) can adapt to climate change;
- increased adaptive capacity at schools (and potentially nurseries) so that they can respond better to events and plan for them;
- reduced disruption for the school community and parents;
- co-benefits i.e. health, amenity (through green infrastructure), increase productivity from pupils and staff;
- climate resilient schools (and potentially nurseries) in London; and
- potential education and awareness raising through the school curriculum, learning materials, referencing the publication by UNICEF, Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction, designed to assist governments and education practitioners in scaling up and mainstreaming climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the education sector.

Equality comments

This project stems from the London Environment Strategy which was informed by a full Integrated Impact Assessment which includes consideration of equalities. This project will specifically look to maximise the positive impact on Londoners by reducing the health impacts and health inequalities of climate change risks by provide guidance and tips for schools to reduce risks and protect children’s health and well-being.

Other considerations

a) Key risks and issues

Delays in undertaking any of the above activities (due to not having budgets and/or contracts in place) could lead to delays in project delivery that could have a negative reputational risk on the mayor.

Mitigation: The timeline and expected cost for all activities have been reviewed. In addition, a risk register will be drawn up for the project to identify and monitor risks.

Staff resources have been identified within the GLA’s Adaptation team to manage and take forward the project.

b) Links to mayoral strategies and priorities

The London Environment Strategy (LES) – the design of the policies set out in the LES will benefit all Londoners, but due to the unequal impacts of climate change on the most vulnerable Londoners, there is likely to be a positive effect in tacking social and health inequality of this project’s activity.

No officer involved in the drafting or clearance of this form has any conflicts of interest to declare.

Financial comments

Approval is sought for expenditure of up to £30,000 to procure the services of a consultant to produce Guidance for schools (and potentially state funded nurseries) on how they can adapt to London’s changing climate.

The expenditure will be funded from the GLA’s Cross Cutting Adaptation Budget, 2019/20.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Start of the procurement of contract

December 2019

Announcement

February 2020

Delivery Start Date

February 2020

Final evaluation start and finish

Early March 2020

Delivery End Date

Mid-March 2020

Project Closure

Mid-March 2010


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