Little girl running in playground

Health effects of air pollution

Supporting schools to improve air quality

With Global Action Plan, University of Surrey and Arup

Key partnership information

Partner: Global Action Plan, University of Surrey and Arup

Funding amount: £315,000

Duration: November 2020 – November 2021

Programme: health effects of air pollution


What we’re doing together

We want to protect children from the effects of air pollution in the environments where they spend their time, particularly schools.

To do this, we are working with a multi-disciplinary team of experts to engage and support five schools in Lambeth to take identify and implement effective interventions to address air pollution.

We are working in partnership with five schools in Lambeth to help protect their students and staff from the health effects of air pollution.

We have established a multi-disciplinary team of experts from Global Action Plan (GAP), University of Surrey’s Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) and engineering firm Arup to deliver this project. This team will help us build understanding of the unique factors affecting the air pollution in and around these schools. GAP’s Clean Air for Schools Framework will then help identify tailored solutions to meet those challenges, which we will support the schools to implement.


Aims of the partnership

Through this project we want to:

  • Better understand the factors affecting air pollution in schools in Lambeth;
  • Enhance how we engage and work with staff and students to identify the best interventions; and
  • Measure the impact of these selected interventions on air pollution in the school environment

This pilot project focuses on building deep understanding which will inform how we work with schools across Lambeth and Southwark over the 10-year life of the programme.

We want to share the learnings from the project with other schools and so, we have co-funded the establishment of the London School Pollution Helpdesk with Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority.


Connection to our strategy

Children are some of the most vulnerable to the health effects of air pollution. Children are more likely to be affected due to relatively higher breathing and metabolic rates as well as the immaturity of their lung and immune system.

We therefore want to understand how and when children are most exposed to air pollution to inform where and how we can best intervene to reduce this exposure. For most children, school is the environment where they spend most of their time when not at home. This makes schools a key environment where children are potentially exposed to harmful air pollution.

There is a growing breadth of research and work into air pollution in and around school environments, including, the Mayor of London’s School Air Quality Audit Programme. However, there are still significant challenges faced by schools in identifying and implementing the most effective interventions.

Nikita Sinclair

Have questions about our partnership with Global Action Plan, University of Surrey and Arup?

Nikita Sinclair leads on our work to find solutions to air pollution

Contact Nikita to find out more