| Share

Highgate pupils will be out in force this week, actively discouraging car use near our School to raise awareness of air pollution.

Pupils from Highgate Senior School’s Environment Committee will be visibly located on key roads around our Senior School, while Junior School Eco-Council pupils will be out on Bishopswood Road, at the start and end of each school day.

Working in shifts, pupils will speak with car users who stop and idle when dropping off or collecting children. As well as handing out their own leaflets, with information about the pollution crisis, pupils will be asking drivers if they have other transport options they could consider taking.

Mr Prescott, Highgate’s Transport Logistics Manager, explains: ‘Highgate offers an award-winning School bus service and is well served by public transport. However, for those who still need to use a car, we suggest drivers consider dropping off or collecting their children a five-minute walk from school. Even this small change can have a positive impact on pollution levels, limiting the concentration of emissions from so many vehicles directly outside our School.’

Adam Pettitt, Highgate’s Head, said: ‘Highgate endeavours to be a sustainable school and we encourage all staff, pupils and visitors to travel sustainably. I applaud this action by our pupils to raise environmental awareness throughout our School and local community, and to improve air quality for us all.’

The pupils’ week of activity follows last month’s National Walk to School Week and coincides with Clean Air Day on Thursday 20 June. Work by our Junior School Eco-Council has already seen Highgate Junior School shortlisted for a prestigious Tes award in the sustainable school field.

Mark James, Principal of Highgate Junior School, added: ‘We are very proud of how some of our School’s younger pupils are encouraging sustainable travel and, we hope, setting up healthy transport habits that they will use for the rest of their lives.’

Air pollution in London remains a huge problem with many of the most harmful pollutants, including NO2 and particulate matter, produced predominantly by road traffic. This is particularly harmful to children, whose lungs are still developing, and regular exposure is associated with increased risks of a variety of respiratory diseases, including asthma and lung cancer. In addition, the carbon dioxide produced from vehicle engines is a greenhouse gas, and a large contributor to the growing climate crisis.