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].
Henry Fawcett Primary School, London
Henry Fawcett Primary School in Lambeth were concerned about ventilation. Several classrooms, halls and office spaces had few, or no, windows that opened correctly. Assistant Headteacher Rachel Harrison says that “it wasn’t possible to ventilate these rooms, they felt stuffy all the time, and extremely warm in the summer, causing pupils to feel lethargic and irritable” and that “since COVID-19, staff and pupils are even more concerned about good ventilation, and some of these rooms felt unsafe”.
Therefore, as part of the Lambeth Schools Air Quality programme, the school identified window repairs as a physical intervention that could help air circulate better, improving student health and reducing their exposure to air pollution.
Through a simple internet search, a London-based window repair company called WMS Ltd. was chosen to carry out the repair of 26 windows at the school. The company were sent photos and videos of the window mechanisms in advance so they could better understand what materials would be required to repair the windows. During the summer holidays, all 26 windows were repaired over a 3-day period.
The University of Surrey carried out a study in the school to measure the impact of this intervention. The study showed that repairing the windows allowed an increase in window opening and hence in ventilation rate of 12.5%. This resulted in an improvement in indoor air quality by reducing carbon dioxide by up to 40%. It is important to note that ventilation rates were low and any small increases in the ventilation rate showed as a large improvement when stated in percentage terms.
“The spaces where repairs have occurred now feel safer, fresher and staff and pupils using them are much more able to concentrate.”
– Rachel Harrison, Assistant Headteacher
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