MD2340 Mayor’s primary schools & nurseries air quality audit programme

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Code: 
MD2340
Date signed: 
05 September 2018
Decision by: 
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Executive summary

The Mayor has identified improving air quality as one of his key priorities given its impact on public health and health inequality. The Mayor particularly wants to reduce the impact of air pollution on the health of at-risk groups especially the very young including school children, children attending nurseries and the elderly. The Mayor has recently completed audits at 50 primary schools.

Decision

That the Mayor approves expenditure of £830,000, broken down as follows:

• £500,000 in 2018/19 as provision of a £10,000 each ‘starter grant’ to the 50 audited primary schools;
• £250,000 in 2018/19 on services required for the delivery a new nurseries air quality audit programme, including funding for targeted interventions at up to 20 nurseries as well as the trial of filtration systems at appropriate sites. A consultancy will be appointed to deliver this programme via a competitive procurement process;
• £25,000 in 2018/19 on the continued services of WSP (the consultant who delivered the primary school audit programme) to provide ongoing consultancy support in relation to the implementation of the recommendations from the audited primary schools through a single source justification and a related exemption from requirement of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code to procure such services competitively; and
• £55,000 to cover the cost of a full-time fixed-term Grade 8 staff member or external consultant for a year to manage the consultancy support set out above, deliver ongoing support to the 50 audited primary schools and audited nurseries to ensure that the proposed recommendations are taken forward.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

Improving air quality is a public health priority. Air pollution is contributing to thousands of premature deaths caused by long-term exposure. There is also strong scientific evidence of the acute health effects of short-term exposure to very high levels of pollution, like those experienced during an air pollution episode. It is essential that coordinated action is taken to reduce exposure, especially amongst those most at risk such as school children, children attending nurseries and the elderly.

To tackle exposure specifically by primary school children, who are often the most vulnerable to the effects of air pollution, the Mayor has undertaken a new Primary School Air Quality Audit Programme under MD2096. Under this £250,000-programme, 50 primary schools received detailed air quality audits carried out by an experienced transport and environment consultancy WSP. The audits reviewed ways to lower emissions and reduce exposure of London’s primary school children to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and other pollution, including on their journeys to and from school.

The 50 selected primary schools were chosen following an application process which asked eligible London Boroughs to use guide questions and a scoring matrix to select up to two eligible primary schools which they felt should receive air quality audits.

The GLA, working in partnership with TfL, then considered the submissions from eligible boroughs and confirmed schools selected for an audit within four weeks of the deadline for applications.

School eligibility was determined by the NO2 annual averages per school using data from LAEI 2013. To select the top five schools per borough, schools with annual mean NO2 concentrations 40ug/m3 were considered, factoring in exposure by considering maximum number of pupils per school in each borough separately.

The audits identified the most effective local solutions to improve air quality and reduce exposure by understanding the travel behaviour of parents/carers, children, staff and other suppliers/services visiting the school and assessing the quality and accessibility of the physical environment surrounding the school. Examples of solutions identified by the audit recommendations included running active travel promotion and ‘no engine-idling’ campaigns around the schools, installing green infrastructure, for example trees to ‘shield’ walking routes or more significant changes to road layouts or road closures near the schools. By engaging with the borough and school community, the audits also increased awareness about local air pollution and made recommendations for changing behaviour.

The audits have been widely praised, including by the Government’s Chief Medical Adviser. However, it is essential that the audit reports do not just “sit on a shelf” and a good cross section of the recommendations are implemented. In working with the boroughs and the selected primary schools to deliver the audit programme it has become clear that there is a lack of spare capacity and/or technical knowledge at both school and borough level to effectively implement the audit recommendations. Unless further support is offered, there is a real risk that the audit recommendations will not be taken forward.

Consequently, officers are recommending a three-pronged strategy to ensure that a good cross section of audit recommendations are taken forward. First, each of the selected 50 primary schools will receive a £10,000 starter grant to take forward some of the non-transport recommendations (following consultation and agreement by GLA officers). Since the audits were completed, the Mayor has announced the £10,000 ‘starter grant’ for each of the participating schools. More information about the Programme can be found here: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/mayor-launches-air-qual....

Second, WSP, the consultancy who completed the 50 primary school audits, will provide specialist technical advice to the primary schools and borough air quality and transport officers based on their audits to assist with assessing the feasibility of implementing the recommendations and prioritisation of the recommendations (See 1.9 below).

Third, a staff member or consultant will be appointed by the GLA to support to the 50 primary schools such as support with accessing-funding streams, assist with establishing school air quality audit implementation plans for the 50 audited primary schools and gather data on the implementation of the recommendations. The support offered will enhance (not substitute) the existing support provided by borough air quality and transport officers and increase the likelihood that a good cross section of the audit recommendations will be taken forward.

Officers acknowledge that section 9 of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code requires, where the expected value of a contract for services is between £10,000 and £150,000, that such services be procured competitively or called off from an accessible framework. Section 10 provides however, that an exemption from this requirement may be approved where the proposed contractor has had previous involvement in a project/programme or is to continue existing work, which cannot be separated from the new project/programme work. Officers propose that WSP are contracted to undertake the additional consultancy work to provide specialist technical knowledge, assist with assessing the feasibility of implementing the recommendations and prioritisation of the recommendations. As WSP completed the 50 primary school audits, this represents work that cannot be separated from the recent work they have provided.

The staff member selected to support the 50 primary schools will be a Grade 8 or external consultant appointed on a fixed term contract for 12 months. The post will be appointed as soon as possible, subject to the fulfilment of the usual STAF process and associated appointment processes. The cost for this is estimated to be £55,000 (at midpoint Grade 8 salary scale and including on costs) for a year and will be covered by the 2018-19 Air Quality Programme Budget.

The City of London has been trialling new filtration systems at Sir John Cass Primary School. While not scientifically rigorous, initial assessment suggest a reduction in NO2 concentrations within the classroom of up to 50 per cent. This is worth investigating further so it is proposed that a filtration system trial is built into the new nursery audit programme and, where suitable, 5 sites will be identified for deployment of filtration systems.

Given the success of the Primary School Air Quality Audit Programme, the GLA is keen to expand this concept to other at-risk groups, namely children attending nurseries. Modelling will be undertaken to assess the exposure levels by children, attending nurseries, to NO2 and will include consideration of PM10, PM2.5 pollutants.

Analysis show that there are 80 state-funded local authority nurseries in London (listed at Appendix 1.). Detailed pilot air quality audits, which will include consideration of both indoor and outdoor air quality, will be undertaken for up to 20 nurseries as outlined in the Mayor’s announcement in May 2018. Feasibility assessments of the context and practicalities of installing a filtration system will be undertaken at up to 20 nurseries and installation, trial and monitoring of filtration systems in at least 5 of the nurseries, with particular consideration as to whether the technology is effective and should be rolled out more widely. The smallest children, those attending nurseries, are particularly vulnerable to air pollution exposure.

Building on the learning from the primary school audit concept already developed, the GLA wants to build in funding to implement recommendations from the outset, which is why £250,000 in funding is proposed for the nursery audits.

An indicative allocation of this funding is as follows (remembering that the GLA will be evaluating the value for money represented by all received bids):

• £200,000: £10,000 for each of the 20 nurseries to cover the audit cost and then to provide a ‘starter grant’ to enable some of the recommendations to be implemented.
• £50,000: to enable the installation, trial and monitoring of filtration systems at least 5 suitable nurseries.

The use of the term ‘nurseries’, include

• Maintained Nursery Schools (MNS), i.e. those registered with Ofsted as schools and as early years providers. These are “maintained” providers meaning state-funded but do not have higher classes (only early years, year 1, 2, etc). Often, they have provision for children under three years old as well as three and four-year-olds;
• nurseries attached to schools – provision for three and four-year-olds prior to reception class and state-funded;
• PVI group providers (Private, Voluntary and Independent sector), i.e., provision for children under five-years-old funded by a combination of government funding for free early education and parental contribution (fees).

The emphasis of the Programme will be on pinpointing what is contributing to the pollution within the nurseries and surrounding areas; and to work with the selected nurseries and the boroughs to implement solutions to reduce emissions/exposure and strengthen travel plans of these nurseries.

The cost of the consultant and associated works for the nurseries air quality audit programme will be £250,000 and is to be competitively procured and financed through the air quality programme budget.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The Mayor’s Primary School Air Quality Audit Programme

Objectives

• Support the 23 participating boroughs to ensure that the 50 implementation plans are established, actions are implemented and outcomes achieved. Set up funding arrangement for the GLA’s £10,000 offer to each of the selected primary schools;
• Monitor progress of the implementation plans and outcomes quarterly;
• Produce an annual report highlighting progress and outcomes; and
• Set up the GLA’s Air Quality Schools’ Forum that will see the selected 50 primary schools share knowledge and best practice, disseminate the toolkit to other schools and encourage efficiency savings through joint procurement ventures.

Expected Outcomes

• A number of the recommendations at and in each of the 50 primary schools implemented;
• A significant percentage of ‘other ‘primary schools using the toolkit; and
• At least two good practice case examples produced by the School’s Forum and showcased on the GLA’s website.

 The Mayor’s Nurseries Air Quality Audit Programme

Objectives

• To audit and identify the sources of poor outdoor air quality and exposure by children at state-funded nurseries at up to 20 nursery sites and their surrounding catchment areas;
• To audit and identify the sources of poor indoor air quality and potential exposure by children attending nurseries at up to 20 nursery sites. This will include establishing a baseline of indoor air quality at the selected nurseries;
• To assess the context of and feasibility for installing filtration systems at the selected nurseries’ sites;
• To install, trial and monitor the effectiveness of filtration systems in at least 5 of the nurseries’ sites, following approval by the nurseries and PAG;
• To identify, evaluate and recommend measures within and around the nurseries’ sites that will help a borough to reduce particulate matter and emissions and children’s exposure to poor air quality, which could be delivered as part of the boroughs’ LIP funding schemes, in the case of state-funded nurseries;
• Engage school communities (children’s parents/carers/governors and ward councillors). This will a) include an introduction to Transport for London’s (TfL) STARS (Sustainable Travel: Active, Responsible, Safe) travel plan at selected nurseries, where they are not already engaging in this initiative; and, the Greater London Authority’s (GLA’s) Healthy Early Years London Programme by raising awareness about the impacts of air pollution;
• Engage eligible London boroughs and other relevant stakeholders to inform the context and feasibility of the proposed recommendations. (Funding is already included as part of the delivery plan at each nursery); and
• Provide recommendations and, where applicable, draft design options and costings for the boroughs’ consideration and future implementation.

Produce three groups of reports

• An overarching project report at the completion of the audits and filtration system trials;
• Separate reports setting out the audit findings for the selected nurseries;
• A single report on the installation, trial and monitoring of filtration systems in at least five of the nurseries, with consideration as to whether the technology was effective and should be rolled out more widely; and
• Produce a toolkit that can be rolled out to all non-participating nurseries.

Expected Outcomes

• The nurseries and wider school community at all audited nurseries will be better informed about and engaged on air quality issues in their local areas;
• There will be a greater understanding of the potential health risks of exposure to poor air quality both outdoor and indoor and the best ways to reduce exposure by children attending the selected nurseries as well as how parents, carers and guardians can reduce their own contribution to poor air quality;
• Participating boroughs will support the nurseries to adopt and implement the recommendations detailed in the audit reports;
• Opportunities will have been created to reduce levels of exposure to NO2, PM2.5 and PM10 for children attending the nurseries and on their journey to and from school at the audited nurseries;
• Participating boroughs and nurseries will share best practice with all boroughs and schools in London, using the toolkit that will be produced as part of the programme by sharing their achievements via TfL’s STARS Programme, the GLA’s Healthy Early Years London Programme and by presenting at appropriate forums such as the GLA’s Air Quality Schools’ Forum and other events etc;
• Boroughs and other relevant stakeholders will adopt and roll out the audit programme to other nurseries /boroughs. Boroughs will actively encourage the use of LIP funding to improve air quality in the case of state-funded nurseries; and
• Nurseries and boroughs will use the funding opportunities provided by the GLA to support the implementation of the recommendations.

Both Programmes

Objectives

• Establish the recruitment and selection process to appoint an officer or external consultant to support to the 50 primary schools such as support with accessing-funding streams, assisting with establishing school air quality audit implementation plans for the 50 audited primary schools and gathering data on the implementation of the recommendations.

Expected Outcome

• An officer is in place to start in time for when the Mayor’s Nursery Audit Programme goes ‘live’.

Equality comments

The GLA has published an analysis on exposure to air pollution undertaken by Aether which shows that not only are there huge health impacts of pollution but the way these fall on the most vulnerable means that improving air quality is fundamentally about tackling social injustice.

The updated report considers pollution exposure in London in 2013 and considers how exposure varies by age, indicators of relative deprivation and ethnic groups in London. It also looks at total exposure (broken down by borough) and exposure at schools. Through the research described in this report, City Hall is seeking to understand inequalities in access to clean air in London and to consider how this will be improved by planned air pollution controls.

The research shows on average that the most deprived tenth of the population are exposed to concentrations of NO2 which are 25 per cent higher than the least deprived tenth of the population. It is important to note that hidden within this you also have pockets of extreme wealth with very high levels of exposure, e.g. those living in Westminster or in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

In terms of ethnicity, whereas there is a normal distribution of exposure for ‘white’ people, the pattern shows increasing exposure in areas that have higher percentage of non-white ethnic groups, with a particularly skewed distribution for the Black/African/Caribbean/Black British population. A greater proportion of mixed, black and other ethnic groups are exposed to levels of pollution that exceed the NO2 limit value than their proportion of the total population.

For schools, in 2013, there were 802 educational institutions serving young people which exceeded legal NO2 limits, of which 360 were state primary schools and 78 were state secondary schools. Note: In the previous study published in 2010 it was found that, there were 1777 primary schools in London of which 433 were in locations where average concentrations exceed the NO2 EU limit value. Of these 433 primary schools, 82 per cent were deprived schools. By contrast, of the 1344 primary schools that were not exposed to above EU limit values of NO2, 39 per cent were deprived.

The design of the policies set out in this MD will benefit all Londoners, but due to the unequal impacts of pollution on the most vulnerable Londoners there is likely to be a positive effect in tackling social and health inequality of this programme of activity.

Other considerations

 

 

Risk description (cause, risk, event, potential impacts)

Probability

(1-5)

Impact

(1-5)

RAG

Mitigation/risk response (state if the response is done or pending)

GLA Owner

1

For the Primary School Air Quality Audit Programme, it may be difficult engaging the 50 primary schools to take forward the recommendations

 

 

2

 

 

3

 

 

A

Work with the borough air quality and transport officers to bring the 50 primary schools on board through the setting up of the multi-disciplinary support meetings with the school, borough officers, TfL and the GLA

Annette Figueiredo

2

For the Primary School Air Quality Audit Programme, it may be difficult to get WSP to sign up to a further contract.

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

A

 

 

 

 

Seek to procure WSP via Single Source Justification process as the GLA has had experience working with this supplier, which carried out the 50 audits for the Programme, and as such have a developed relationship with the parties that will be involved in the implementation of the recommendations

Annette Figueiredo

 

3

For the Primary School Air Quality Audit Programme, schools may not prioritise the implementation of the recommendations

 

3

5

A

Set up initial multi-disciplinary support meetings with the selected primary schools involving the WSP, GLA, TfL, borough air quality and transport officers and representatives from the school community; the GLA will maintain support regularly as part of the newly appointed officer’s role

 

Annette Figueiredo

4

For the Nurseries Air Quality Audit Programme, there may be a risk of market uncertainty resulting in higher price by potential Suppliers. The budget may have to be changed to reflect changing priorities.

 

3

2

G

Break clauses to be incorporated in to contracts to allow re-negotiation or switching to a cheaper supplier.

Annette Figueiredo

5

 

 

 

For the Nurseries Air Quality Audit Programme, it may be difficult to engage with a dispersed network of nurseries.

3

1

 

G

 

 

 

 

 

 

Existing networks to be used where possible, for example, where the GLA already has engagement through the GLA’s Healthy Early Years London Programme and TfL’s STARS Programme. Officers to liaise with GLA’s Health and Education teams and TfL’s STARS programme.

Annette Figueiredo

 

6

 

 

 

For the Nurseries Air Quality Audit Programme, carrying out a feasibility study and installing the filtration system in the Programme’s timetable may prove challenging

2

 

5

 

R

 

Once the supplier has been procured, prioritise the filtration system as the first piece of work to be undertaken.

Annette Figueiredo

 

7

For Both Programmes,

an officer with the right skills may be difficult to recruit

2

4

A

 

Deploy other team members in the team to matrix work. Follow the GLA’s equal opportunities policy for recruitment and selection

 

Elliot Treharne

 

Impact assessment

 

A comprehensive Integrated Impact Assessment was undertaken to support the London Environment Strategy (LES) which covered air quality, including proposed action at schools and nurseries. The Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA) found that the GLA had considered aspects for improving London’s air quality based on four policy options. This was recognised in the LES IIA as the most effective approach for addressing human health impacts. The LES includes targets for some of the pollutants identified in the IIA recommendations. The GLA agreed that it would look to include specific interventions to improve air quality around schools, hospitals and care homes.

 

 

Links to Mayoral Strategies

 

The London Environment Strategy includes Proposal 4.1.1.b which states:

 

“The Mayor will aim to do more to protect London’s young and disadvantaged people by reducing their exposure to poor air quality, including at schools, nurseries, other educational establishments, care homes, and hospitals.”

 

The strategy explicitly recognises that reducing the exposure of young people to pollution is a priority because younger children are among the most vulnerable to its health impacts. Eight and nine-year-olds living in cities with high levels of fumes from diesel cars have up to ten per cent less lung capacity than normal.

 

This programme is in conformity with and takes forward the commitment set down in the London Environment Strategy.

Financial comments

Mayoral approval is sought for expenditure of £830,000 on the Mayor’s primary schools and nurseries air quality audit programmes. The spend is broken down as follows:

• £500,000 as provision of a £10,000 each ‘starter grant’ to the 50 audited primary schools;
• £250,000 on consultancy services required for the delivery a new nursery air quality audit programme at 19 nurseries, including funding for targeted interventions at each nursery as well as the trial of filtration systems at appropriate sites;
• £25,000 on the continued services of WSP to provide ongoing consultancy support in relation to the implementation of the recommendations from the audited primary schools (contracted via a single source justification); and
• £55,000 to cover the cost of a full-time fixed-term Grade 8 staff member or external consultant for a year to manage the consultancy support set out above and deliver ongoing support to the 50 audited primary schools and 19 audited nurseries to ensure that the proposed recommendations are taken forward.

The cost of this programme is to be funded from Environment team’s 2018-19 Air Quality budget.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Mayor’s Primary School Air Quality Audit Programme

  • Procure Consultant
  • Set up multi-disciplinary support meetings with the selected primary schools
  • Multi- disciplinary team to meet with the selected primary schools
  • Set up the School’s Forum

 

 

August/September 2018

From July 2018

 

From August 2018

 

August 2018

Mayor’s Nurseries Air Quality Audit Programme

  • Governance arrangements established
  • Programme Plan approved by the Programme Advisory Group

 

  • Modelling work completed
  • Selection of nurseries to be audited
  • Involve borough air quality officers in the selection of nurseries
  • Confirm nurseries to be audited and communicate to them
  • Procure consultants through competitive process via TfL procurement
  • Delivery to start
  • Delivery completed

 

August 2018

August 2018

 

 

August 2018

August/September 2018

August/September 2018

 

September 2018

 

September  2018

 

September 2018

 

September 2019

Both Programmes:

  • Set up recruitment and selection process

 

August- November 2018

Appendices and supporting papers

Appendix 1:

The following 80 state-funded local authority nurseries have been identified using Edubase

Borough Name

Establishment Name

Barnet

Hampden Way Nursery School

Barnet

Moss Hall Nursery School

Barnet

St Margaret's Nursery School

Barnet

Brookhill Nursery School

Brent

Curzon Crescent Nursery School

Brent

Granville Plus Nursery School

Brent

Fawood Children's Centre

Brent

College Green School and Services

Camden

Thomas Coram Centre

Croydon

Purley Nursery School

Croydon

Thornton Heath Nursery School

Croydon

Selhurst Nursery School and Children's Centre

Croydon

Crosfield Nursery School

Croydon

Tunstall Nursery School

Ealing

Grove House Nursery School & Children's Centre

Ealing

Maples Children's Centre

Ealing

South Acton Childrens Centre

Ealing

Greenfields Nursery School and Children's Centre

Greenwich

Robert Owen Nursery School

Greenwich

Rachel McMillan Nursery School and Children's Centre

Greenwich

Pound Park Nursery School

Greenwich

Abbey Wood Nursery School

Hackney

Comet Nursery School and Children's Centre

Hackney

Wentworth Nursery School and Children's Centre

Hammersmith and Fulham

James Lee Nursery School

Hammersmith and Fulham

Vanessa Nursery School

Hammersmith and Fulham

Randolph Beresford Early Years Centre

Hammersmith and Fulham

Bayonne Nursery School

Haringey

Pembury House Nursery School

Haringey

Rowland Hill Nursery School

Haringey

Woodlands Park Nursery School and Childrens Centre

Harrow

Hillview Nursery School

Hillingdon

McMillan Early Childhood Centre

Islington

Kate Greenaway Nursery School and Children's Centre

Islington

Margaret McMillan Nursery School

Islington

North Islington Nursery School

Kensington and Chelsea

St Anne's & Avondale Park Nursery School

Kensington and Chelsea

Maxilla Nursery School

Kensington and Chelsea

Golborne Children's Centre

Kensington and Chelsea

Chelsea Open Air Nursery School

Kingston upon Thames

Surbiton Children's Centre Nursery

Lambeth

Ethelred Nursery School and Children's Centre

Lambeth

Triangle Nursery School

Lambeth

Effra Nursery School and Early Years Centre

Lambeth

Holmewood Nursery School

Lambeth

Maytree Nursery School

Lewisham

Clyde Nursery School

Lewisham

Chelwood Nursery School

Newham

Rebecca Cheetham Nursery and Children's Centre

Newham

Sheringham Nursery School & Children's Centre

Newham

Kay Rowe Nursery School

Newham

Edith Kerrison Nursery School

Newham

Ronald Openshaw Nursery School

Newham

Oliver Thomas Nursery School

Newham

St Stephen's Nursery School

Richmond upon Thames

Windham Nursery School

Southwark

Nell Gwynn Nursery School

Southwark

Kintore Way Nursery School and Children's Centre

Southwark

Ann Bernadt Nursery School

Southwark

Grove Children & Family Centre

Southwark

Dulwich Wood Nursery School

Sutton

Spencer Nursery School

Sutton

Thomas Wall Nursery School

Tower Hamlets

Columbia Market Nursery School

Tower Hamlets

Alice Model Nursery School

Tower Hamlets

Rachel Keeling Nursery School

Tower Hamlets

Childrens House Nursery School

Tower Hamlets

Old Church Nursery School

Tower Hamlets

Harry Roberts Nursery School

Waltham Forest

Low Hall Nursery School

Waltham Forest

Acacia Nursery

Waltham Forest

Church Hill Nursery School

Wandsworth

Somerset Nursery School and Children's Centre

Wandsworth

Eastwood Nursery School

Wandsworth

Balham Nursery School & Children's Centre

Westminster

Mary Paterson Nursery School

Westminster

Portman Early Childhood Centre

Westminster

Tachbrook Nursery School

Westminster

Dorothy Gardner Centre

 


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