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Welcome to our collection of case studies! The stories listed below showcase some of the schools across the UK taking action against air pollution. We look forward to sharing more case studies with you as we hear from schools that have completed the framework and implemented their Clean Air Action Plans.


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Car Free Day celebrations in Lambeth
Posted by : Lambeth Schools Air Quality Programme

Three primary schools across Lambeth


On 22nd September 2021, the three schools participating in the Lambeth Schools Air Quality project celebrated Car Free Day by closing the road outside their school to vehicles.  As part of the project, Global Action Plan liaised with the Council to meet the requirements for the road closure and to adhere to all necessary protocols on behalf of the school. The University of Surrey also carried out a study in one of the schools to measure the impact of this intervention. The study showed that the temporary road closure reduced the concentrations of airborne particulate matter by up to 36%.


At Henry Fawcett Primary School, they celebrated with a vibrant street party, where they played games, had face painting, a DJ, and even a Bolivian dance group and a West African drumming group! They also had a food bus and Dr Bike from Cycle Confident who helped the school community service their bikes so that they were in good working condition for the school run. Lots of parents and children stayed after school to enjoy the festivities, particularly parents who normally do not get the opportunity to engage with school activities.


“…It was magical. To see so many happy faces, clearly having a wonderful time, in the sunshine, is something that will live in my memory for a very long time….Enormous thanks to The Berkeley Group, Oval Village, Impact on Urban Health, Hyde Housing, Lambeth Council and Tesco Kennington for helping with resource to make the event possible”

Mrs Persad, Headteacher, Henry Fawcett Primary School.



At St Mark’s CofE Primary School, their eco-group, the Green Society, lead on creating a Low Pollution Map for the school: this helps the school community understand which roads were highly polluted and best to avoid on the journey to and from school. They also presented at assembly on the day to inform their peers on why Car Free Day is important and how they can get involved. During the road closure, the school celebrated by setting up a reading corner with books and blankets for the school community to enjoy, as well as cake decorating activities, music, dancing and hula hoops. They also had a Dr Bike session, as well as a bike course to help students practice their bike handling skills. The event provided an important opportunity to speak with parents about the importance of clean air and the impact of air pollution from vehicles on the school community. The headteacher of St Mark’s, Sola Ingram, felt that the event made the school community more conscious and aware and provided a perfect opportunity for everyone to get together.


“…a great event that not only bought the whole school community together but also made us all aware of the issues related to air pollution in our school community.” 

Sola Ingram, Headteacher, St Mark’s CofE Primary School, London.



Finally, St Andrew’s CE Primary School held a bakesale on the street outside their school gate, inviting parents and members of the community to buy their baked goods. Classes were also held on the street, such as a Spanish class, and children played with chalk, writing clean air messages onto the road. The school also received a Dr Bike session, where students could have their bikes tuned up so that they can travel safely to school.


"The children were really excited about exploring the street outside the school in a different way - with space to enjoy games and activities rather than staying safe from lots of vehicles! It was great to see the whole school community come together, and Car Free Day was a great way to build on the other clean air initiatives the children and school have been driving."

Mrs Coward, Head of School at St Andrew's C of E School



Interested in celebrating the next Car Free Day at your school?


Please consider the following guidance if you hope to close the road at your school for the next Car Free Day:

  • Ask your local authority about closing the road for Car Free Day as soon as possible – this can be a long process so reach out to them during the summer term at the latest.
  • To support the road closure, you will need to follow the council’s health & safety protocols and ensure there are sufficient adults to meet these requirements. For example, you might be required to have a specific number of stewards to monitor the road closure locations, and ensure they are wearing hi-viz clothing. The requirements will vary in different locations, so it’s a good idea to ask your local council what is needed to help you plan accordingly.
  • Reach out to active travel organisations in your area e.g. Sustrans, who may be working with your local authority to assist schools wishing to take part.
  • Consider any organisations/funders who may be able to help you throw a fun party/event on the street by providing food, activities and/or entertainment. Support from parents or other volunteers in the local community should also be considered to help manage costs and requirements on staff time.
  • Safety during the event is top priority – please ensure a full risk assessment is carried out and there are enough staff and adult helpers working at the event to keep everyone involved safe.
  • Provide all adult helpers with training prior to the event, so that everyone is clear on their roles and responsibilities, they understand the details of the risk assessment and they know how they should manage different situations. For example, ensuring there is still enough supervision in place if an adult or child becomes unwell; how to manage local residents who may still need access to the road (the local council should provide guidance on this in line with the T&Cs of the road closure); or who the key points of contact are on the day.  

For further guidance on school streets and running a Car Free Day event, please see p. 30-32 of the Air Quality in Schools Intervention Toolkit.


Getting started...


Use our Car Free Day teaching resources to help your students learn about Car Free Day and help raise awareness of it in the school community.



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