Would you not pick s school because of air pollution?

(23 Posts)
redberries1 Fri 24-Feb-17 09:43:21

School is great. Only negative is it's on the list for being affected by high air pollution as it's on a busy road in London.

It's worrying me. Very annoying as otherwise it's a fab school.

OP’s posts: |
BarbarianMum Fri 24-Feb-17 10:00:52

Well we decided against a particular house because the otherwise good catchment primary was in an air pollution hotspot so I guess the answer is yes, I would.

user789653241 Fri 24-Feb-17 10:21:01

Yes, if we have a choice, we would, as a parent of allergy/asthma sufferer.

BigWeald Fri 24-Feb-17 13:27:31

Me too. Air pollution can cause restricted lung growth, which is for life (lung cannot catch up later on). I wouldn't inflict it on my children if I had a choice.

If my child went to a terrible school I could support my child educationally at home. However I cannot fix the damage caused by air pollution by doing something extra at home.

Trees lining a street can reduce that street's pollution levels by a huge 50%. If you find yourself with no choice regarding school in air polluted spot, you could lobby the school to plant more trees. That's something I'm considering doing for our school (via PTA).

flyingkangaroos Fri 24-Feb-17 13:30:23

How bad is it? Do you have any figures? Is the alternative way better?

If it was on the N Circular (for e.g.) I'd certainly avoid it. And I'd write to the chair of governors (really nicely!) explaining why.

Blossomdeary Fri 24-Feb-17 13:31:35

I would reject a school on those grounds.

askasillyquestion Fri 24-Feb-17 13:50:18

you could ask them what they are doing to combat it? Our daughters' school is on the South Circular - they've recently put in a green wall that is proven to reduce air pollution. There was a grant for it, and the children are measuring the results with regard to improving air quality as part of a project. There are improvements schools can make, if they are aware it is an issue.

That said, my two are in rude health, and have been there for years.


bojorojo Fri 24-Feb-17 18:36:08

So do you all drive your children to schools further away causing even more pollution?

YouMakeABetterDoorThanAWindow Fri 24-Feb-17 18:50:13

We will need to think about secondary schools soon. Hopefully dd will go to the nearest school a short walk away but nothing is ever that certain. We thought about trying for a highly desirable school a bus or short tube ride away- the clincher on deciding if we should even trt to jump through the afmissiion hoops or not was its top position on a pollution chart. We aren't going to.

Branleuse Fri 24-Feb-17 18:55:34

my childrens school is in a polluted area, but i absolutely love the school. We live in a town centre, its a town centre school near busy roads. It is not a surprise there is a high level of pollution

YouMakeABetterDoorThanAWindow Fri 24-Feb-17 19:02:30

Yes, the DCs school is on the London List of most polluted schools too, as are all the local primaries and likely secondaries. The school we decided against is too of the list though and that swung the balnace sheet against it.

flyingkangaroos Fri 24-Feb-17 19:14:43

Have you seen this?
Useful for comparing your options.

Otterspotter Fri 24-Feb-17 20:39:12

I decided against a very well regarded school on a very busy road in N London precisely for that reason. And to be honest it was pretty hypocritical because we live very close to that same road, but there was something about my child spending the vast majority of their time right on that road that I couldn't be comfortable about. And we were just very lucky that they managed to get a place at another local school that we never expected to get a place at otherwise there wouldn't have been any other option

YouMakeABetterDoorThanAWindow Sat 25-Feb-17 14:13:40

I'd seem something similar from maybe a year ago but I'll have a look at that list too, thanks flying

redberries1 Sat 25-Feb-17 16:15:40

Our school is on that list - quite low down, but still.

There are some trees and green around the front though.

Uh I don't know....

OP’s posts: |
user789653241 Sat 25-Feb-17 20:39:35

Thing is, this is something that you can improve, if you are serious about it.
I've seen on the tv that pollution level can be reduced significantly just by putting potted trees along the road.
So, if you can fund raise to plant the trees, or put lots of potted plants/trees in the school ground, maybe you can make environment a little bit better.
It's up to you, really, how much do you like this school?

flyingkangaroos Sat 25-Feb-17 22:15:45

Is it inside the N/S Circular? I think that there will be big improvements in air quality, once the ULEZ comes into effect (from 2019 I think - but effects shd start sooner, as people upgrade to vehicles that will be allowed in).
If the level is 45 or under, I wouldn't fret. Over that, then it's worth thinking about. How polluted is your home/other places the DCs spend time?

BigWeald Mon 27-Feb-17 10:52:59

Bojorojo 'So do you all drive your children to schools further away causing even more pollution?'

That is a very valid question. Especially because being inside a car on a busy road is just about the worst place you can be, air pollution wise. So not only do people who drive to schools further away in order to escape pollution contribute to said pollution, they also pretty much defeat their purpose by subjecting their children to the highest levels of pollution during their school runs.

Which is why, if you are taking air pollution into account when choosing a school (assuming you have a choice at all), you should consider not just the pollution at the school itself, but also along the path you plan to take to get there.

At the school, you may be able to address things to an extent (planting trees); you may however have no choice as to which route to take to get there.
And then again, you may. For what it's worth, we cycle to a school that is only the third-nearest, and we take a longer route than the direct one along the busy road. One reason we chose this school is precisely because of the existence of a lovely, mostly traffic free route to get there - we'd rather cycle through a 'park' for 25 minutes than along a busy road for 15 minutes. I just wish those parents who do the school run in cars would not sit outside school in cars with motors running so frequently...

CruCru Fri 03-Mar-17 11:01:16

This is an interesting thread. My son's school is on the list (really quite high up) and I understand that the school are doing quite a lot to improve the air quality.

However - I live in central London so this is a problem at pretty much any school here. I've entered in all the schools I considered at the time and they're all on the list. The only way to avoid it is to move far away from London (which isn't an option for us).

user789653241 Fri 03-Mar-17 16:56:27

We live in a sleepy rural town in England with moderate pollution. Ds suffers hugely from environmental allergy.

We spend summer in rural Scotland every year. Difference is huge.
It is a only time his skin totally become free from eczema, even though he is allergic to grass and tree pollen!

Happytimes31 Mon 12-Feb-18 16:52:35

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

HeadBasher2018 Tue 13-Feb-18 13:25:35

It was definitely a factor for us, would not consider schools very near the London north circular, and decided against one where the playground was on our main high st.

I too worry about the North Circular becoming worse when the new regulations come in. Where will the long distance lorries ‘swap over’ to the less polluting vehicles that can enter London? Happytimes thanks for your post above, I’ll have a look at the consultation.

OP in terms of the pollution itself, I would consider a few factors...

- how close is the playground or classroom windows to the road? In the list published above I don’t see how they’ve measured the 150m from the school to the main road. On a similar list I saw before, the distance was measured from the main gate to the school. If the playground is another 50m further from the road behind the main gate, then you’re probably that bit safer.
- how many lanes of traffic
- is it free-flowing or stop-start
- is it a bus route
- is there is a good thick high barrier of hedges to stop the particulate pollution
- Is the pollution likely to disperse quickly, eg are you top of a hill (good) or situated in a narrow street with high buildings either side like a pollution trench (bad)?
- what pollution levels is the child exposed to at home and outside school?
- would you have to walk/drive along the busy road to get to the school or could you take a quieter route?

Woolvee Wed 14-Feb-18 10:29:05

Yes! DD asthmatic (lots of hospital dashes; not just a chronic low-level wheeze) and we avoided one school because of it's setting - choc full of pine trees which is something that sets her off.

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