Air quality

Clean air for schools project

We were awarded a DEFRA grant to take on an air quality project over the next two years.

The project focuses on schools that sit along:

  • the main A13 and A127, and
  • those within the Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs)

It is part of our commitment to improving air quality across Southend.

Participating schools

Group A

  • Chalkwell Hall Infant School
  • Chalkwell Hall Junior School
  • Porters Grange Primary School
  • Prince Avenue Academy and Nursery
  • St Mary's Prittlewell CofE Primary School
  • West Leigh Infant School
  • West Leigh Junior School

Group B

  • St Helens Catholic Primary School
  • Sacred Heart RC Primary School
  • Southchurch High School
  • Southend High School for Girls

Project aims

  1. air quality monitoring to determine PM2.5 and NO2 levels at these schools
  2. web linked information at schools showing and providing data to schools
  3. school air quality audits and assessments of specific school activities and interventions
  4. engagement with schools on actions, intervention options and campaigns on air quality, reducing pollution exposure, safer, more active travel, modal shift
  5. funding for interventions, activities and local campaigns for schools
  6. wider anti-idling campaign for schools
  7. review post campaign and intervention impacts through a final measurement campaign


Air quality monitoring devices were installed at:

  • group A schools between September 2023 and December 2023
  • group B schools between January 2024 and April 2024

These devices collected baseline air quality data which can be accessed via our web portal.

We have also sent out a Travel Survey to all participating schools. This will be shared with parents to gain an insight into travel habits.

Next steps

We will be putting together a report from each school. This will be made up of:

  • the data obtained from the monitoring devices
  • information from the site-specific air quality audits

It will also, include looking at what potential mitigation measures could be installed, if necessary.

We will be delivering an anti-idling campaign. More information will be available on this page soon.

We will be working with the participating schools and our Parks Team to apply for the Woodland Trust's free trees for schools program. This scheme is open to all schools and community groups.

Contact Environmental Health

Telephone: 01702 215005

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