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Schools and air quality

Find out what we’re doing to improve the air quality around our schools.

Published: 21 December 2020

Last updated: 15 July 2022

Schools and air quality

The adverse impacts of pollution disproportionately affect young people.  That’s why tackling pollution around our schools is a top priority for Westminster City Council. 

To improve air quality in these areas, and reduce pupils and parents’ exposure to harmful pollution, we’re running a programme of auditing and air-quality monitoring at schools for children and young people aged 5-18 years across the borough. The programme will run from September 2019 to July 2020. 

We’ve also set up a £1m Schools’ Air Quality Fund to help schools to carry out their audit’s recommendations. We’ve produced a checklist to highlight easy ways for schools to get involved and take action on pollution. 

You can find out more about our wider work on improving air quality across the city on our air pollution webpages

Schools air quality audits

The air quality audits recommended how to improve air quality levels in school buildings, playgrounds and on local roads in the immediate vicinity. They were carried out by our audit provider, WSP and Public Realm and Highways team.

Upon completion, each school received a full audit report containing recommendations, tips and advice to help improve air quality in and around your school.

An overview report was conducted with all of the information gathered from the audited schools and can be accessed below.

For further information about this programme email [email protected]

Schools air quality measuring

From September 2019 until August 2020, we will be monitoring the air quality outside schools and educational sites using diffusion tube testing, in accordance with DEFRA guidance.  

This will help support the programme and provide a broader picture of what air quality is like throughout an academic year. 

Schools' Clean Air Fund

The Schools’ Clean Air Fund provides £1million of financial assistance to help primary schools in Westminster implement the recommendations of their audit report. 

Local authority schools, free schools and academies can apply for up to £10,000 each, and private schools can apply for up to £5,000. The money can be spent on building and premises improvements, highway improvements outside school and green infrastructure. 

Schools can only apply for funding after they have completed an air quality audit and received their report. 

There will also be further news on how businesses can support schools through sponsorships.  

To get you started, we have created a list of potential project ideas. 

Project ideas for the schools’ clean air fund

Schools air quality checklist

We want to make it as easy as possible for our schools to identify and implement action on air quality. So, we’ve put together a simple checklist to get you started. 

Schools air quality checklist
Schools air quality checklist PDF, 146.32 KB, 2 pages
Further information and resources
Further information and resources PDF, 282.68 KB, 2 pages

For more information email [email protected].  

Case studies 

Hallfield Primary School
Hallfield Primary School PDF, 499.85 KB, 2 pages
St Peter’s Eaton Square CE Primary School