Air Quality Awards: Air Quality Champion Nominee Emily Norman

Posted on: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 by Katy Blake

This entry was posted in 2018 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

On Thursday; we’ll be at the Air Quality Awards in London to unveil the winner of our “Air Quality Champion” award. Here’s more information about our next finalist, Emily Norman.

In May 2018; 50 air quality audits were carried out at primary schools in the most polluted areas of London as part of the Mayor’s School Air Quality Audit Programme. These audits were commissioned to identify a combination of hard-hitting measures and solutions to minimise the impacts of exposure on primary school children in some of the worst areas. The Programme aimed at both reducing the sources of harmful emissions, and reducing exposure to those emissions. St Mary’s scored 67 μg/m3 across the school site. This is above the EU legal limit of 40 μg/m3.

Emily was the Head Teacher of St Mary’s Bryanston Square School in Marylebone until July 2018; and championed several key initiatives to minimise the impact of air pollution on her students. Some of those improvements included;

  • Closing Enford Street, a busy road next to the school, to traffic at the start and end of each school day,
  • Turning the car park into a garden and encouraging all students and staff to walk, cycle or use public transport,
  • Working with British Land to install a ‘green wall’, a variety of plants to screen children playing in the playground,
  • Promoting an anti-engine idling campaign; led by pupils,
  • Introducing an indoor air quality filtration system paid for by the Greater London Authority and Westminster City Council,
  • Adding house plants recommended by NASA to every classroom,
  • Mapping different routes that each child could take to get to school, avoiding the most polluted roads and areas,
  • Introducing a mask design competition for children, with the winning mask being made for children to wear whilst walking to school,
  • Running cycling training for families, so everyone can cycle safely and confidently,
  • Providing scooter and bike storage at school, funded by TfL,
  • Encouraging students to study the effects of air pollution and promoting awareness of the issues, both at school and in their local communities,
  • Taking 5 pupils to the National Clean Air Summit, hosted by the Lord Mayor and the Mayor of London.

This significant work goes above and beyond the recommendations of the Audit Programme, and has played a notable role in helping improve air quality at the school. As a result of Emily’s work; students and families feel empowered to speak about and take responsibility for their air quality. For that reason, Sadiq Khan nominated her as an Air Quality Champion.