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.
Are you one of these schools? We'd love to hear from you about any of the actions you've implemented - your story could feature here! Get in touch with us at [email protected].
St Andrew's CE Primary School, London
At St Andrew’s CE Primary School in Lambeth, Mrs Coward, Head of School said “Idling has been an ongoing issue outside the school gates. This was worrying the school staff and parents, as the children and school community were being exposed to unnecessary air pollution. The vehicles were can also creating a road safety risk, especially when vehicles stopped on yellow lines or in other busy areas.”
St Andrew’s eco-group, the Eco Warriors, wanted to better understand the extent of idling behaviour at their school. They therefore decided to conduct a monitoring study to see how many cars were found to be idling during drop off and pick up times. The study was carried out over three days: students used a monitoring sheet on a clipboard to tally the number of total vehicles stopping at the school as well as the number of vehicles idling. They were then able to calculate a daily total of idling vehicles and compare this to the total number of vehicles outside the school. The Eco-Warriors recorded that, across all 3 days, approximately 42% of cars dropping children off at the school were found to be idling! The Eco-Warriors were so surprised by the number of vehicles idling that they wanted to conduct a mini-demonstration at the school to warn parents of the detrimental impact of idling on their children’s health. Unfortunately, due to changes in restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was postponed and is yet to be reorganised.
Isabella, Scarlett and Tyrell who are Year 6 students and members of the Eco Warriors group said “Idling is not a good thing to do as it is very harmful to us and our environment. All the dirty gases that are polluted are all put in the air and as the pollution spreads, we can get all sorts of diseases and illnesses. Idling is bad for us, and I could feel the effects when I was standing by the school gate and doing our monitoring activity! We went out and told people not to idle. This made a difference and I feel like we made a difference.”
However, The Eco-Warriors were able to write a letter to the council asking them to take action on improving road markings outside their school, to discourage idling, to mark out clearly where cars cannot park, and to make it safer for children to cross.
The anti-idling campaign teaching resource is designed to teach your students about idling and why it is dangerous. It encourages students to raise awareness about this issue and how they can participate in activities to do this, such as a monitoring activity outside of school and an anti-idling campaign.
You can find out more about anti-idling on p. 28-29 of the Air Quality in Schools Intervention Toolkit.
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