Why we work with schools

We know that pollution created by idling vehicles disproportionately affects children. Not only are many schools daily hot-spots for vehicle idling but young people have greater exposure to harmful pollutants as they take twice as many breaths per minute (compared to adults) and breathe closer to exhaust pipes.

Developing lungs need healthy air to grow. That is why we aim to run workshops in over 300 schools throughout participating boroughs. We have created workshops to arm students with the information they need to escape the effects of pollution.

Workshops build on existing eco and active travel initiatives and are delivered in schools by our project officers. We encourage involvement from the whole school and the local community to create sustained, positive changes to school journeys and healthier air for everyone.

If you would like to read more about the impact of pollution on children’s health we recommend chapter 3 of Every Breath You Take, a report by the Royal College of Physicians.

If your school is a hot-spot for idling vehicles and you are interested in working with us to address the problem, please get in touch.

Workshop objectives

  • Introducing the importance of clean air
  • Explaining main pollutants and their sources in London
  • Demonstrating the invisible threat of pollution in real-time using citizen science PM monitoring
  • Connecting pollution exposure with health conditions in young Londoners
  • Getting students to think about their own journeys and the pollution they might encounter
  • Centralizing idling action as the best way of empowering students to enact positive change and to address easily preventable pollution
  • Student Activity: – Completing the Idling Challenges:
    • Poster Challenge – Creating posters for a banner to communicate idling action messages. The banner will be printed as part of the project so that it can be displayed outside the school;
    • Pledge Challenge – preparing pledge activity sheets to take home / use at school to get parents / teachers / governors etc to pledge to always switch off their vehicle’s engine.

Socially distanced delivery and resources

Following latest government guidelines, we have created opportunities to deliver workshops remotely. The idling action team can lead classes via video link and deliver in a socially distanced manner.

Alternatively, if you want to move at your own pace or if your school is outside of Greater London, you can make use Student Workshop and Challenge Pack which gives you everything you need to run a workshop independently.

In addition, our Idling Action Event school toolkit is created for schools to run their own Idling Action events which involve volunteers engaging drivers around the school. Please note, although we are continuing workshops, Idling Action Events are suspended until further notice. We recommend planning events after COVID restrictions have been eased.

However you want to get involved with the project, get in touch and we can help you get the best from our resources.