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
At Henry Fawcett Primary School in Lambeth, the school community wanted to improve their bike and scooter parking facilities. Previously, bikes and scooters had an allocated space without a shelter, but the space was used ineffectively, and it was often difficult to retrieve bikes at the end of the day. Staff bikes were also stored amongst the pupil’s bikes, which deterred staff from using the facility. According to Alex Neves, the school-keeper, “cyclists felt uncomfortable about leaving their bikes out during rainy weather, and bikes left overnight became damaged and rusty.”
As part of the Lambeth Schools Air Quality programme, Assistant Headteacher Rachel Harrison identified improving the school’s bike and scooter facilities as a physical intervention that could lead to more staff and families using active travel on their way to and from the school each day. Mrs Harrison also recognised the need to raise awareness about air pollution and active travel in order to make the most of any new facilities.
The school worked closely with Arup, who helped identify the most appropriate contractor to install the bike and scooter facilities, based on the space and the school’s specific needs. The process and important learnings have been outlined by Arup on p.11 of the design toolkit they created through the project. In this document, you can find helpful information about typical options, safety and security considerations, costs, benefits and things to watch out for.
The school’s eco-group, The Green Heroes, also helped to raise awareness about air pollution and promote active travel prior to the installation of the new parking facilities. Targeting Clean Air Day on 17th June 2021 as a key moment, they carried out travel surveys with the school community and researched the benefits of active travel. Using what they had learned, they then made colourful and informative posters to display around the school site and recorded a video to be shown in assembly and to parents. This encouraged the school community to use active travel to get to school.
You can watch the campaign video below:
The leader of Lambeth Council, Councillor Clair Holland, also came to visit the eco-group as part of their Clean Air Day celebrations – to hear about all of the group’s hard work. The eco-group even got to quiz Councillor Holland about what her job involves and how she might be able to help them have cleaner air in the local community!
The school are now very happy with their new parking facilities. Dawn Persad, the Headteacher, says:
“Our new Bike shelter with storage for both bikes and scooters is great. The shelter means that bikes and scooters are kept dry and out of the elements. Not only do the riders not have to suffer soggy bottoms or rusty chains but they are more likely to cycle or scoot to school (I include myself in this). An added bonus is that it is no longer a struggle to find and retrieve bikes and scooters as the design and layout ensures easy access and a much tidier bike and scooter park.”
Take a look at p. 9-11 of the Air Quality in Schools Intervention Toolkit. In this document, you can find helpful information about typical options, safety and security considerations, costs, benefits and things to watch out for.
The Raising awareness on active travel teaching resource is designed to teach your students about active travel and how they can encourage others to participate.
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