The Mayor’s school air quality audit programme

The Mayor is concerned about poor air quality around London’s schools. Breathing in dirty air can affect children’s health and well being. That’s why he has audited 50 primary schools in the city’s most polluted areas. 

The audits have made recommendations to reduce emissions and exposure. They include: 

  • moving school entrances and play areas away from busy roads
  • 'no engine idling' schemes to reduce emissions from the school run
  • reducing emissions from boilers, kitchens and other sources
  • local road changes including better road layouts, restricting the most polluting vehicles around schools and pedestrianisation by school entrances
  • adding green infrastructure like ‘barrier bushes’ along busy roads and in playgrounds to help filter fumes
  • encouraging students to walk and cycle to school along less polluted routes

The audits were funded with £250,000 from the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund. They were carried out by engineering consultancy WSP.

Taking recommendations forward

The Mayor wants local boroughs to work with the audited schools to take forward the recommendations. TfL’s Local Implementation Plans will support this by funding delivery of transport recommendations. There will also be £500,000 to deliver the non-transport recommendations at all 50 audited schools. Each school will get £10,000 from the Mayor which we will ask to the school and/or borough to match fund. In addition, at least £300,000 will be available from the Mayor's Greener City Fund to deliver greening measures at any school in an area exceeding legal pollution limits.

The Mayor would also like to see Clinical Commissioning Groups supporting the funding of the recommendations given the exposure to poor air quality is a public health issue. 

Nursery air quality audits

The Mayor will now invest £250,000 to pilot the audit concept in nurseries in London’s most polluted areas. This will include testing filtration equipment to determine if this could have a positive effect on reducing indoor levels of air pollutants. More information on this programme will be available soon. 

School audit toolkit

The Mayor wants to encourage London boroughs to audit every school within an area of high pollution. The school audit toolkit can get you started. It can be used by schools, nurseries, workplaces, hospitals and other organisations. 

School audit reports

The 50 primary school air quality audit reports are available below. Search by location in London:

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