New school proposes sealing children from air pollution

The website Inside Croydon is reporting that plans for a new local Harris Federation primary on a polluted road will involve sealing off parts of the school from the outside air.

…The sight of children, some as young as five, walking to or from their school wearing anti-pollution masks could soon be a commonplace on the streets of Croydon, following discussions at a council planning meeting last night.

On the agenda was a pre-application proposal to build a primary school alongside the heavily polluted Purley Way – a site which the council’s own planning officials had previously rejected as being unsuitable for the four-form-of-entry primary wanted by the sponsoring academy group, the Harris Federation. The same site had been abandoned as unsuitable for young children five years ago, when the previous schools there were closed and moved to a less polluted environment.

Such is the official concern about the poor air quality along the busy, four-lane A23 that the plans submitted last night even include a scheme to seal off parts of the building from the outside world and have the school “internally ventilated”…

In the submission for the school, it was suggested that the worst of the air pollution locally could be mitigated by the front part of the building, including the dining facilities and school hall, being sealed off from the external atmosphere with special ventilation systems, while the children’s outside activity and play areas would be placed further back from the Purley Way…

More at: New school to be ‘sealed off’ from Purley Way’s polluted air


See also: The inner London schools where children breathe toxic air


This sounds pretty awful,  but with more schools and school places needed, especially in urban areas, is it the kind of thing we are going to have to expect to see more of?

Let us know what you think of the idea…


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  1. thiskidsthinkin

    Would this create an environment where bugs spread like wildfire? Internal ventilation (as I understand it) recirculates the air (same as planes do). Would this spread colds and flu faster? Bugs spread fast enough once in the classroom as it is. I worked in a dry cleaners once. We had ‘negative ventilation’, which pulled all the air in the building (a supermarket) through our department and released it out through the vent, so the chemical fumes wouldn’t build up or get into the store. Could that kind of system pull air from the back of the school, and release it through the front?

Let us know what you think...